What You Need To Know About Sugar And Oral Health

Sugar is a sweet-tasting carbohydrate that our body turns into glucose.

The common sweetener is found in many foods, drinks, and even medicines, and unless you are actively trying to avoid sugar, it is hard to miss.

It’s no secret that the sweet substance is harmful to our health and teeth, but what are the effects of consuming too much sugar, and what can we do to protect ourselves? 

In this article, we will discuss why sugar is destroying your teeth, which foods contain it, and how to protect your pearly whites. 

What Sugar Does to Your Oral Health – What to Know | DentalHouseMI.com by Dental House MI

Where Does Sugar Come From?

Sugar is a naturally occurring substance that can be found in many different fruits, milk, and honey.

It is also highly concentrated in sugarcane and sugar beets, making them perfect for extracting the sweetener. It can also be industrially made by converting corn starch into sugars.

Where Do You Find Sugar?

As mentioned above, sugar is naturally found in fruits, milk, and other products, but many other foods have had the sweetener added, some of which might surprise you. 

Adding sugar to foods has little to no nutritional value, but it is used to help baked products stay fresh longer, prevent jams and jellies from going bad, assist with the fermentation of alcohol and bread and finally enhance the flavor and improve colors and textures of foods and drinks. 

Obvious sweet-tasting foods with sugar include:

  • Candy
  • Cookies
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate
  • Desserts
  • Sweet pastries and doughnuts 
  • Yogurts

Foods that you wouldn’t think contain sugar include:

  • Breakfast cereals
  • Pasta sauces
  • Soups
  • Granola bars
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Salad dressing
  • Fresh fruit juices 
  • Dried fruit 
  • Ketchup

And so many more. For adults, it’s recommended not to exceed 30g of sugar per day, and for children, this amount is 24g.

So when doing your weekly shop, you must check the labels of the foods you are buying to stay within the healthy guidelines.

The Effects of Sugar On Your Teeth

Sugar is damaging to your teeth, and one of the main ways it can harm your oral health is through tooth decay and cavities.

Consuming an excessive amount of sugar will encourage the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth.

This bacteria will form harmful acids that eat away at your precious enamel and start to cause tooth decay.

Once tooth decay sets in, your teeth cannot repair themselves, and the decay will progressively get worse without a dentist’s intervention. 

How to Protect Your Teeth From Sugar

Prevention is the easiest way to protect your teeth from the effects of sugar.

Try not to consume too much sugar, but if you find you have done so, then brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and drinking plenty of water will help to prevent oral issues. 

Other things you can try to do include;

  • Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride;
  • Drink more tea to fight bacteria in your mouth;
  • Consume more calcium;
  • And by making sure you are going to your dental checkups. 


The effects of consuming too much sugar are detrimental to the health of your teeth. Combined with bad oral care, you can quickly end up with tooth decay and even tooth loss.

If you are worried about sugar and your teeth, then talk to your dentist, attend all your checkups and ensure you are brushing and flossing daily. However, if you already have missing teeth due to too much sugar, you can check out dental implants in chesapeake to have them replaced.