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How Sugar Causes Cavities

how sugar causes cavitiesWere you always warned by your parents about sugar and cavities? Would they talk about how eating too much candy could rot your teeth, especially if you didn’t brush your teeth before going to bed? Those slightly vague warnings may have been effective as a child, but as an adult, you might be more interested to learn just exactly how poor hygiene and eating too much sugar causes cavities.

What Happens When Sugar Enters the Mouth

When you eat sugar, bacteria use it as a fuel for the production of plaque that coats your teeth, which can actually be felt with the tip of your tongue. If this plaque is not brushed away, then it can harden into tartar, which will require cleaning by a dental professional using special instruments. Tartar can trap acids that bacteria produce, and that will eat away at your teeth over time.

  1. The food, or drink, is ingested, and particles from these substances are left behind in the mouth.
  2. The particles mix with your saliva and then form the sticky film called plaque.
  3. The plaque adheres to the tooth and remains unless cleaned.
  4. Certain bacteria convert sugar into acids, which eat away at the enamel (this is known as demineralization.)
  5. If the demineralization continues, the acids and bacteria will penetrate the outer layer of the tooth and form a cavity.

Check That Label!

The level of sugars, measured in grams, can be determined by checking the Nutrition Facts Label on the packages before buying them. Another quick solution to locating sugar levels is to check online for the nutrition information relating to any prepared meal and its contents.

Dealing With Sugar

The battle against the effects of sugars on your teeth can be won by visiting your dentist regularly in addition to brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing.


Dr. Vi Mai and the caring staff at Mai Dentistry are dedicated to ensuring that our patients are proud of their beautiful, healthy smiles. With years of experience in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, we can expertly diagnose and treat early dental trouble to preserve your natural tooth structure. To learn more, or to schedule your next appointment, call us today at (972) 530-0552.

Dr. Mai and her team provide excellent patient care to prevent dental conditions from developing. We monitor your smile with checkups and regular cleanings incorporating advanced technology.
To treat and transform your smile, we can offer fillings and crowns to restore your smile to optimal health, function, and beauty.
We want to help your smile shine with professional teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and one-visit bonding and contouring procedures.
Our advanced dental technology allows us to provide you with less-intrusive, more precise care.