There is no doubt sugar is sweet but very detrimental to your teeth. So there’s no surprise that sugar is the leading cause of cavities.
Sugar substitutes were made as a more ”healthier option” to eliminate sugar challenges. They are marked as “sugar-free” but are processed in a way that provides a sweet taste.
Surprisingly sugar substitutes have the same adverse effects on oral health as sugar. Below we discuss how they affect your teeth and why it’s best to avoid using them.
Let’s first start with how sugar affects your teeth. When you eat excess sugar, an excess of bacteria accumulates in the mouth. Unfortunately, the bacteria in the mouth responsible for cavities rely on sugar as their food. So, the higher the sugar content you consume, the more active the bacteria will be. After a while, you get left with painful holes in your teeth.
How Sugar Dissolves Enamel
The microorganism in the bacteria releases acid as they break down sugar. As a result, the acids weaken the enamel. Saliva, acids, and bacteria combine to make a plaque that attaches to the teeth’ surface. Eventually, the enamel dissolves from the effects of acid in the plaque. When it dissolves, shallow holes happen, referred to as cavities. The cavities keep growing deeper as time passes. So, waiting to go to the dentist for too long can result in other issues.
Effects of Sugar Substitutes on Your Teeth
The good news is that bacteria don’t feed on sugar substitutes. Although, sweetener substitutes are still detrimental to your dental health. Sugar substitutes do cause cavities.
Experts reveal there’s no difference between the effect of sugar substitutes and sugar. A study showed that diet soda with sugar substitutes damages teeth as those that use natural sugar.
The research also found that sugar substitutes also weaken your dental enamel. In addition, the results showed that drinks with acidic additives and low pH levels cause notable damage.
How Dental Erosion Takes Place
The genesis of dental erosion is when the acid dissolves the enamel. In the beginning, erosion damages the outer surface of the enamel. Then, erosion eats away at your teeth’s enamel in the following advanced stage. Tooth decay is more likely to happen when the enamel is eroded. In addition, your teeth are more susceptible to bacterial growth, resulting in cavities.
Sugar substitutes don’t accelerate bacteria to create more acids than sugar does. Yet, candies and beverages have sugar substitutes with possible acid ingredients. As discussed, these acids cause damage to your teeth.
The primary cause of tooth damage in sugar substitutes are:
So, while consuming sugar substitutes, your mouth battles with too much acid. The acid destroys the minerals in your teeth, which is how they decay.
Form Excellent Oral Health Habits
Keeping your mouth healthy doesn’t just come down to cutting out sugar and sugar substitutes. It’s just as essential to care for your health in other ways.
So, make sure you go to the dentist regularly. Brushing your teeth, flossing, and drinking water are other healthy habits. And, if needed, you may want to consider wearing a night guard. A dentist may have oral health tips for you to apply as well.
Dental Night Guard
People who clench their teeth at night have little control over it. Yet, teeth clenching can affect your teeth negatively. Unfortunately, clenching can lead to jaw dysfunction and pain. JS Dental Lab explains more about how clenching your teeth can be detrimental to your mouth’s health.
Dental night guards help people overcome mouth clenching. It works because it cushions the teeth from damage during the night. The cushion prevents worn-down and chipped teeth.
Wearing a dental night guard enables you to sleep more comfortably at night. It also reduces clenching by keeping the jaw muscles relaxed while asleep.
Your oral health goes beyond avoiding sugar and sugar substitutes. Forming excellent oral mouth habits such as using a night guard will maintain a healthy mouth.
Not all sugar substitutes are harmful to your teeth. Yet, those with high-level acid have detrimental effects. Some sugar substitutes have high citric and phosphoric acid levels. Unfortunately, this facilitates bacterial growth leading to cavities. To keep your mouth healthy, try to avoid sugar substitutes. Or, at the very least, reduce how often you use them.