Image Dental Blog


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

5 Ways You Can End Your Addiction to Sugar

Yes, Sugar Addiction is Real!

Sugar addiction can lead to a myriad of problems, from weight gain to tooth decay. Reducing sugar intake has been associated with better dental health, but many people don’t quite understand how sugar can be harmful.
Actually, it is not the sugar itself that causes damage, but rather the events that follow after drinking a sugary beverage or treating yourself to a piece of cake. According to the NIDCR – National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the mouth is filled with bacteria, some of which support the oral ecosystem and some that cause harm.
The harmful bacteria feed on the sugars in the mouth obtained from sugary foods and drinks to create acids that wear way tooth enamel, exposing the inner sensitive dentin and pulp cavity. Cavities are the result of this acid wearing away tooth enamel, and if not treated early, can cause sensitivities to heat and cold, pain, and even tooth loss.
Overcoming Sugar Addiction - Acid Wear Can Be Reversed!
Since many foods contain sugars and acids that feed harmful bacteria in the mouth, the body has a natural mechanism for counteracting the damage. While acids leach minerals from tooth enamel through a process known as demineralization, your saliva contains calcium, phosphates, and other minerals that help to restore and repair tooth enamel through a process known as re-mineralization.
Unfortunately, excess sugar intake can result in a net loss of minerals from enamel, resulting in tooth decay. So, it is important to limit your sugar intake to avoid severe damage.
Here are some ways to beat sugar addiction:
1. Curb your sugar intake
Start by identifying how much sugar is contained in the foods and drinks you consume by interpreting the nutrition labels. Identify the major sources of sugar, like soft drinks, and cut back on those gradually.
2. Substitute whole fruit for sweets
Sugary items like sweets that linger in the mouth for a long time are dangerous as they will be feeding harmful bacteria for the same duration that you’ll be savoring them in your mouth, and long after. Instead, enjoy some whole pieces of fruit. They are less likely to cause decay since they are combined with fiber.
3. Watch out for ‘hidden’ sugars
While fruit juices are healthy for you, the natural sugars they contain are still harmful to your teeth. So, try consuming fruit juices and other sugary treats at the end of a meal, and limit juices to 150 ml (one glass) per day. Remember to brush your teeth after meals.
4. Avoid unhealthy snacks
Although consuming sweets and carbonated drinks between meals is the best way to consume sugary and acidic treats, it is best to avoid them. Instead, opt for healthy choices like nuts, breadsticks, and raw vegetables.
5. Increase your magnesium intake
Studies show that sugar cravings (chocolate in particular) are linked to deficiency in the mineral magnesium. So, reduce your cravings by eating magnesium-rich dark leafy greens, legumes, nuts, and tofu.
Final Note

Dr. Steve Ngo of Image Dental OC recommends to brush your teeth after meals, or at least rinse your mouth with water to remove food particles that may feed bacteria in your mouth.

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