How Does Sugar Affect Your Dental Health?

How Does Sugar Affect Your Dental Health?

Posted by DR. DOWSETT on Jan 21 2022, 07:07 AM

Sugary food items might be everyone's favorite and part of their daily diet. Sugar may feed on the harmful bacteria and generate acid which damages the enamel, the protective layer of your teeth. Thus, the high intake of sugar may affect the teeth’s deep layers resulting in frequent tooth pain and finally, tooth loss.

Sugar and Bacteria

Our mouth contains both beneficial and harmful bacteria. Sugar sticks onto harmful bacteria, causing cavities and holes in your teeth. Saliva, which contains calcium and phosphates, repairs and strengthens your teeth as part of natural mineralization. 

Saliva also contains antimicrobial agents that naturally fight against harmful bacteria. Eating too much sugar limits the natural repair of your teeth and ups your risk for oral health and wellbeing.

Diabetes and Its Effect on Oral Health

Diabetic patients are more susceptible to oral health issues. Diabetes increases the risk of dry mouth, gingivitis, periodontitis, infection, and poor healing of oral tissues. However, we should take the necessary steps to maintain oral hygiene, especially in diabetics.

Dry Mouth

Saliva actively takes part in preventing tooth decay, gum diseases, and other oral infections as it fights against the harmful bacteria found in the mouth. But high sugar levels in your blood lower the production of saliva, resulting in a dry mouth. 

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

When bacteria in the mouth cause gum to bleed, turn red and feel sore, this is the initial stage of gum disease that results in gingivitis. This is a common oral health issue faced by diabetic patients. If gingivitis is left untreated, it may turn into a serious oral health issue called periodontitis.


Fungal yeast infection is common in people with diabetes as high sugar levels provide a favorable condition for yeast to grow. Infection, which appears as white lesions on your mouth and tooth, may cause toothache, mouth pain, and redness.

Poor Healing of Oral Tissues

Diabetes causes slow healing of wounds after oral surgery or other dental procedures resulting in worsening of oral health.

Top 6 Dental Care Tips For Diabetics

  • Brush your teeth after consuming sugary foods
  • Floss everyday
  • Control and monitor your blood sugar level
  • Schedule regular dental visits 
  • Opt for a fluoride mouth rinse
  • Cut down sugary food items
  • Eat a healthy diet

For any dental concerns, visit Complete Health Dentistry of Portland at 11765 Northeast Glisan Street, Portland, OR 97220, or call us at (503) 253-1262 for an appointment.

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