Ah, Valentine's Day...a time for spreading the love, gifts, and marveling in the sugary-sweet candies that surround the holiday. However, the seemingly innocent candy that you eat can leave harmful events in its wake. This Valentine's Day, make sure you know exactly how to maintain a healthy and gorgeous smile.
Sugar affects the teeth in more ways than one. A common result of sugar in excess is often a cavity. While sugar does not directly produce a cavity, it paves the way for one to form. The bacteria in your mouth is composed of helpful and hurtful organisms that are constantly battling over the health of your teeth. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NICDR) describes this demineralization process by explaining how some bacteria thrives off the sugary substances you eat and creates acids that wear away your tooth enamel.
Your enamel is the shiny, outer layer of your tooth that keeps it protected from dangerous germs. Once the protective wall of the enamel is down, this gives a cavity the opportunity to form. Cavities are infections that spawn from acids and have the ability to cause holes in your teeth. This event is both unsightly and painful; making them a negative experience for all. If left untreated, cavities can lead to the loss of a tooth.
As quickly as demineralization occurs, it is reversed by a process called remineralization. Remineralization is what replenishes your teeth's strength.This endless back-and-forth struggle between the two processes is what keeps a balance within your mouth's health. However, the replenishing process can only do so much before it becomes your responsibility to make sure you're managing how much sugar you consume. By controlling your measurements and monitoring the foods you eat, you will actively give your body the chance to fight off infection and harmful bacteria, leaving you with strong and healthy teeth.