This Halloween, make sure you and your kids don’t overdo it! You can still enjoy Halloween treats and candy without taking a toll on your dental health. Too much sugar in your diet can contribute to dental problems like cavities and gum disease. As your dentist in Hampton Roads, VA, we want you to take care of your teeth and gums and watch your sugar intake while enjoying the season.
How Sugar Affects Your Oral Health
Your mouth is full of good bacteria that keep your teeth and gums healthy and breath fresh. However, not all bacteria are equal. Harmful bacteria feed on sugars and starches left in your mouth. As these harmful bacteria feed on the sugars and starches, they break down the gum tissue and tooth enamel.
Eating or drinking too much sugar and not properly cleaning your teeth and gums may lead to problems like tooth decay and gum disease. As bacteria damage the tooth enamel, they create holes called cavities. Bacteria can enter cavities and affect the nerves that keep teeth alive. Many patients with decay may require fillings or root canal treatment to repair their teeth.
Patients who develop gum disease can experience bleeding and irritated gums. Over time, as bacteria break down their gum tissue, they can experience gum recession and tooth loss.
Other dental problems linked to sugar intake include tooth sensitivity and pain. Consuming too much sugar regularly, not drinking enough water, and not properly caring for oral health can lead to decay.
Preventing Dental Problems
There are several things you can do to prevent cavities and gum disease from sugar:
Minimize Sugar Intake
Sugar is okay in moderation! You can still eat candy this Halloween season but don’t overdo it. Be aware of drinks that contain hidden sugars, including fruit juice, energy drinks, and lemonade.
Drinking water can help increase saliva production to help wash away sugars and starches on the teeth and gums. Fluoridated water also helps strengthen the tooth enamel or the outer layer of the teeth. Strong enamel can combat tooth wear and prevent bacteria from entering the tooth.
Take Care of Your Smile
Brushing and flossing are the best preventative treatments against decay. Many patients do not realize how important flossing is to their oral health. Flossing before brushing your teeth can remove food debris from between teeth, preventing plaque and tartar from building on and around teeth. Brushing twice daily for two minutes removes bacteria from the tooth’s surface.
Visiting the dentist regularly for dental cleanings will also keep your teeth clean and free from infection. If we examine your smile and you require a more thorough cleaning, we will recommend the right treatment for you.
Do you need to schedule a dental visit? Call William Harper for a dental cleaning today at 757.414.7227. You can also schedule a dental appointment online.