This one thing plays major role in tooth decay

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Thursday, May 13, 2021 ~ Updated 5:29 PM

The cause of cavities can be multifaceted, but the biggest contributors are sugar and refined starches.

Our diet influences every aspect of our health including our teeth. Our teeth can be ruined in as little as a few years with the wrong lifestyle choices. A high sugar and high-refined starch diet will destroy teeth if the consumption is frequent.

The frequency of carbohydrate intake is more detrimental to the health of teeth than the amount of intake.

I often explain that eating a little cup of sugar, one bite at a time over the course of the day is worse for their teeth than sitting down with a bucket and eating all at once.

Ingesting carbohydrate will change the chemistry of the mouth, making it more acidic. The teeth are very strong because they are highly mineralized. Once the mouth becomes acidic, minerals are wicked out of the teeth. Demineralization is visible as white spots on our enamel.

Loss of mineral content can be considered as the beginning of a cavity. The soft enamel makes it easier for the cavity-producing bacteria to gain a foothold on, and eventually in the enamel of the tooth.

The sugary foods that led to the loss of minerals, fuel the cavity causing bacteria. As they consume the sugars, they contribute to the acidic environment and the process supports the environment for more bacteria, more mineral loss, and bigger more numerous cavities.

Every time carbohydrate is consumed the acidity in the mouth persists for almost an hour. Stickier foods may prolong this acidity. Our saliva will eventually rinse away the acidity and begin re-mineralizing our teeth.

The mineral content in our saliva can and will keep our teeth strong and healthy, unless, of course, sugar is consumed too often. With every bite or drink it will take an hour for the chemistry to recover. Our goal for a healthy diet is to maximize

the time our saliva is putting minerals into our teeth and minimize the time of acidity where minerals are being pulled out of the teeth.