Some interesting facts about sugar :
* World consumption per person per year is over 140 million tons.
* Individual consumption per person per year is over 142 pounds.
This does not included the natural sugars in vegetables and fruits that we eat. Although we need sugar to maintain our body health, it can certainly cause health issues if we over indulge.
( I should have became a dentist )
So what does this have to do with gum disease ?
We have over 20 identifiable bacteria germs in our mouth. There are good bacteria which protects our oral health and we have destructive bacteria, which if left unchecked will almost certainly result in gum disease.
There is a constant war going on inside our mouth. Our oral health depends upon which is the victor. Bacteria thrives in a dry environment so avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
Alcohol will kill the germs for a couple of hours, however, by doing so will dry out the mouth and give the bacteria an excellent environment to breed again.
Chewing on sugarless gum or candy will keep the saliva flowing and will keep the mouth moist to prevent a dry environment for breeding bacteria. Those with “ dry mouth syndrome “ should take extra precaution to keep their mouth moist.
This may sound contradictory, however, sugar will cause saliva to turn acidic, coating your teeth and slowly wearing down the tooth enamel.
The bacteria that feeds off of sugar produces toxins which breaks down the gum tissue.
Sugar also produces an enzyme which in turn produces dextran, which is a sticky substance that builds up as plaque causing the tooth enamel to soften. We all have seen what damage a worm in an apple can do to the fruit. Basically, this is what happens to tooth enamel.
Once bacteria forms within the gum pockets, gum infection occurs and gingivitis takes over which can cause bleeding gums, swollen gums and acute gum disease. Bacteria that breeds within the gum pocket will slowly eat away at the gum tissue resulting in gum recession.
As the bacteria destroys the gum tissue, it continues down into the bone structure causing bone loss which makes the gums recede further.
Refined sugar is much harder for the body to digest than natural sugars called fructose which is found in fruits and vegetables. Since raw sugar takes time to digest, the excess is absorbed in the body tissues which can account for more body weight.
Sugar does not cause cavities, it’s the bacteria feeding on sugar that will destroy tooth enamel.
Remember, it takes less than one hour after eating that destructive bacteria begins to form. It’s important to use a dental care product to eliminate bacteria between brushing.
We all need a certain amount of sugar to maintain our health, however, bacteria has a sweet tooth also.