It is commonly known that consuming too much sugar in your diet can cause tooth decay, but do you know that actually happens? The damage is not done by the sugar itself, but rather by the chain reaction that happens after you have eaten something sugary.
There are hundreds of bacteria that live inside our mouths, many of which are beneficial to oral health. The problem is that some harmful bacteria feed on the sugar we eat and, in turn, create acids that eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities. Our teeth are constantly under attack by acids–be they from acidic foods we eat or acids converted by bacteria from sugar we have eaten.
This damage to tooth enamel is also constantly being reversed by a natural process called remineralization. Your saliva contains minerals like calcium and phosphates that help repair teeth. Fluoride (from fluoride toothpastes and tap water) also helps in the remineralization process.
The natural process of tooth enamel remineralization can only go so far to protect your teeth if you are constantly feeding those harmful bacteria with excess sugar to convert into acids. The best course of action is to cut off their supply and eat less sweets and starches throughout the day. Limiting your intake of sugar gives your mouth a fighting chance to fix the damage.