How Sugar Causes Cavities

Sugar is one of the most notorious villains of dental health. When sugar invades your mouth it combines with plaque and saliva to form enamel-eroding acid. Some of the usual offenders for sugar are obvious. Candy and sweet treats are some of the worst foods for your oral health, but did you know that sugar also lurks in unexpected places like refined carbohydrates?

How Carbohydrates Can Contribute to Tooth Decay

Have you ever noticed that white bread in sandwiches or dinner rolls often stick to your teeth? In this chemical reaction, the sugar fermentation from the bread actually softens your tooth enamel temporarily, making them susceptible to tooth decay. Replacing sugar with healthier alternatives is one way you can protect your teeth from acid erosion and cavities while enjoying something sweet.

Xylitol Protects Enamel and Fights Plaque

For sugar replacement that might actually be good for your teeth, our Riverside dentists recommend xylitol. Found in the fibers of fruits and vegetables, xylitol is extracted from berries, oats, mushrooms, and corn husks. Xylitol is non-fermentable, so it will not develop sugar after combining with saliva, unlike some carbohydrates. Even more beneficial for cavity prevention. xylitol helps remineralize enamel. As a result, your teeth have better defenses against bacteria and plaque. In fact, xylitol actually fights against plaque by attracting and starving the harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Stevia Replaces Sugar in Baked Goods

Since xylitol is non-fermentable, this sweet alternative is not recommended for making bread. For baking, our Riverside dentists recommend stevia. A sugar alternative from the sunflower family, stevia is also called sweet leaf or sugar leaf. This sweetener is often used in low-carbohydrate alternatives and may even help reduce hypertension.

Preventive Dentistry in Riverside

Avoiding sugar is just one way to prevent cavities. Our Riverside dental office offers dental cleanings and checkups to help you maintain optimal oral health. For more information about preventive dentistry or to schedule an appointment, contact one of our Riverside County dental offices today. For more information about the services we offer, or to reserve an appointment at Dental Associates of Riverside, call (951) 369-1001.