Sugar is not only bad for your general health, but your oral health as well. It causes so much harm to your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth feed off the sugar you consume, releasing acids that weaken your enamel and harm your teeth. It can lead to tooth decay among other dental problems. As a result, more and more people are turning to artificial sweeteners as substitutes for sugar. But do the substitutes cause less harm to our teeth as compared to sugar?
Effects Of Artificial Sweeteners On The Teeth
People who want to cut back on sugar are moving to artificial sweeteners. Sugar-free gums and diet sodas among other artificially sweetened foods are flooding the market. They are great for your general health, as they reduce the number of calories you would have consumed from the sugars. However, they may still have an impact on your oral health. Here’s how.
Using artificial sweeteners as a substitute for sugar denies the bacteria the sugar they feed off of. As a result, the production of harmful acids in your mouth is greatly reduced. However, artificial sweeteners usually use acids like citric acids as preservatives. The acids break up the minerals in your mouth, leaving your teeth exposed to erosion and decay. While the acids themselves may not cause any damage to your teeth, prolonged use of artificial sweeteners may upset the pH balance of your mouth and lead to oral problems.
Artificial sweeteners may also overstimulate your sugar receptors and build up your tolerance for sugars. As a result, you may find fruits, vegetables, and other less intensely sweet food unenjoyable and crave more sweet foods. This can put your oral health at risk.
It really doesn’t matter whether you decide to switch from sugar to artificial sweeteners as long as you take care of your oral health. Brush and floss your teeth regularly, and schedule regular checkups at our clinics at least twice a year. Call us today to schedule an appointment.