Why Are Sugar and Starch Oral Health Enemies?

You’ve surely been told at some point in your life (hopefully frequently!) that excessive sugar consumption is bad for your health. Of course there are the weight-gain issues that accompany high sugar intake, but sweets are tough on your teeth as well. You’re probably familiar with the idea that sugar consumption is bad for your oral health, but do you know why it’s an enemy?

Sugar itself doesn’t erode your pearly whites. Just as sugar acts as a food source for you, it can act as a food source for bacteria as well. Sticky sugar and starch residues can be difficult to completely remove from your mouth, even with flossing and brushing. As the residue sits, bacteria proliferate.

Bacteria Grows with Sugar Consumption, Just Like You

Although you can’t see bacteria with the naked eye, it’s a living thing, just like you. With an increase in available food sources, bacteria will start to grow. Sugars and starches, with their sticky nature, can hang around your mouth and provide a great source of food for bacteria. The best way to prevent plaque buildup and cavities is by preventing harmful bacteria from enjoying a readily available food source. Keeping your mouth clean starves this oral health enemy.

Starch Breaks Down to Sugar, Making it an Oral Health Enemy as Well

Starches that come from white flour are mostly simple carbohydrates that can easily break down into sugars, making them part of the problem as well. While a food like potato chips may not be sweet, once it gets broken down far enough, it essentially becomes sugar. Your saliva helps you break down food, but in doing so, sometimes it can create simple sugars on which bacteria feed. Again, this is why it’s so important to regularly clean your mouth and rid it of all bacteria food sources.

Time for a Cleaning to Eliminate Starch and Sugar Residues?

Regular cleanings at your dentist’s office are another vital part of this cleaning routine, so if it’s been a while, schedule your next appointment! Dr. Ali Amiri and the Melrose Dental Arts team strive for clinical excellence in a comforting environment. To learn more about our high-quality family, cosmetic, and implant dentistry services, or to schedule a consultation, call our dental office in Vista, CA, today at (760) 724-9117. Dr. Amiri proudly treats patients from Vista and the surrounding areas of Carlsbad, Ocean side, San Marcos, and Escondido.