How Does Sugar Affect Dental Health?

With Halloween fast approaching, we want to remind our patients to watch their sugar intake. Avoiding excessive sugar and continuing a good oral hygiene routine is important, even if you aren’t trick or treating. Additionally, brushing and flossing after consuming sugar and keeping a healthy diet can help oral health and overall health. Here, learn how sugar affects oral health and what to do at home and in-office to keep up with your dental health in Annapolis, MD.

What Are the Links Between Sugar and Oral Health?

Although most bacteria in the mouth are healthy, harmful bacteria can still affect the smile. Harmful bacteria feed on starches and sugars left in the mouth. These bacteria produce digestive acids that eat away at the tooth enamel and gum tissue. Demineralization can create caries (cavities) or holes in the enamel. Patients who consume excessive sugar and do not care for their smiles can also experience tooth sensitivity, toothaches, and even periodontal disease. Additionally, patients can lose permanent teeth and important gum tissue that supports the look and health of the smile as a result of infection and decay.

How to Improve Your Oral Health

It is important to care for your smile with regular oral health care, dental cleanings, and at-home routines. Discover more about how you can minimize bacteria and save your smile:

  • Establish a Good Oral Hygiene Routine: Brushing and flossing daily helps prevent bacterial buildup. We recommend that patients floss before brushing to remove food debris and provide a better clean. Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing at least once a day can minimize the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
  • Schedule Regular Dental Visits: Visit the dentist biannually or every six months. At these regular dental visits, our dental hygienists provide cleanings to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. They use sterilized stainless steel dental tools to address areas of the smile that are typically hard for patients to reach at home.
  • Receive Gum Cleanings: We offer scaling and root planing treatment if patients notice signs of gingivitis or periodontitis. Gingivitis, or gum inflammation, occurs when harmful bacteria irritate and inflame the gums. Over time, gum disease can occur. Scaling and root planing are effective treatments that remove plaque and tartar from the gums and tooth roots. Used together, scaling and root planing treatments can help patients with chronic gingivitis or gum inflammation.

Keep your mouth healthy this Halloween. If you need to schedule a regular dental cleaning, call (443) 482-5202. On our website, you may also schedule your next dental appointment with Dr. Vernon Sheen. Let Dr. Sheen know if you have any questions about routine visits or require tips to keep harmful bacteria in check. He will be glad to help.