Growing up did your mom warn you not to eat too much sugar? Did she threaten that too much candy would surely “rot your teeth out?” Well, it turns out your mother was on to something. Sugar is, in fact, responsible for a number of dental health problems. From cavities to gum disease, a diet high in sugar can wreak havoc on what might otherwise be healthy smiles. The good news is that you don’t have to forego sweet treats entirely to take excellent preventive care of your oral health. You just need to make wise decisions about what you eat and drink, if you care about the health of your teeth and gums.
When plaque begins to build up on the teeth and along the gums, it can lead to general decay, cavities, and periodontal disease, known as gum disease. Regular checkups and cleanings can help keep the teeth and gums healthy, but a healthy diet is also essential to enjoying great oral health!
The reason sugar is largely responsible for plaque buildup is because plaque bacteria feed on sugar and other simple starches like it, meaning a diet high in sugar will lead to significantly more plaque buildup than one low in added sugars.
Eating plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, some dairy and healthy fats can help you provide your body with nutrients it needs, including those needed to maintain a healthy smile. But eating a well-balanced diet can also help prevent you from over indulging in sugary treats, which are largely empty calories, as well as problematic for dental health.
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