Does Sugar Cause Cavities?

Oct 11, 2017
We’ve all heard that sugar is bad for your teeth, but does sugar really cause cavities? Although sugar definitely plays a role in the formation of cavities and tooth decay, the true cause of cavities is a little more complicated than that. Here are some things to know about what causes cavities that can help you avoid them in the future. Causes of Cavities Bacteria in your mouth are attracted to sugar. When sugar isn’t properly cleaned off your teeth, bacteria start to feed on it and form plaque. Plaque contains acids that erode the tooth enamel, weakening them and giving the bacteria access to your inner dental cavity. This tooth decay is what eventually causes cavities: while sugar itself isn’t enough to cause tooth decay, the effects of sugar on teeth allow bacterial infections to start and cavities to develop. Cavity Prevention The best way to prevent cavities is by brushing and flossing your teeth right after eating sugary foods, before the bacteria has a chance to erode your teeth. Be sure you’re cleaning them thoroughly and flossing up and under your gums to remove any bacteria that might be hiding. Regular dental visits are also essential in order to detect cavities and dental decay before they become a problem. Cavities can even be reversed before they have a chance to penetrate your teeth too deeply, but if left untreated you might need more than just a filling—it might take a root canal to save your tooth, and in extreme cases the tooth might need to be removed. Your dentist can give you a fluoride treatment that reverses early signs of tooth decay and can help prevent cavities. If you’re interested in a fluoride treatment, Willow Park Dental can help! Call our office to book an appointment today.