How Does Sugar Cause Cavities?

no to sugarIf you have a sweet tooth, then you’ve probably wondered, “why?” whenever someone warns you about candy’s danger to your teeth, or wished there were some way around it. Though sugar inevitably fuels the destructive processes that can threaten your smile, understanding these processes and sugar’s exact involvement in them can help you take measures to protect the health and integrity of your teeth. Your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael J. Young, helps you reduce the risk of cavities by explaining the danger of excessive sugar and how best to neutralize it.

Feeding More than Just Your Sweet Tooth

The source of most dental disease lies in the plethora of oral bacteria that form dental plaque (the sticky substance that adheres to your teeth sometimes). Though most of these microbes are harmless, some of them undergo metabolic processes that can have disastrous results. For instance, the germ, Streptococcus mutans, consumes sugar and converts it into acid, which erodes your tooth enamel until it can no longer protect your tooth from infectious bacteria.

Control Acid with Better Oral Hygiene

Unfortunately, eradicating S. mutans and other harmful oral bacteria is not an option. Luckily, controlling them is, and the process is fairly simple. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste (which helps strengthen enamel) and flossing at least once can help regulate the amount of bacteria present, inhibiting their ability to form plaque and the amount of acid they can produce. Also, visit our office at least once every six months, or as often as Dr. Young recommends, for a comprehensive dental checkup and cleaning. Professional maintenance will allow Dr. Young to thoroughly clean your mouth of bacteria and plaque, as well as check for early signs of tooth decay to prevent the formation of cavities.


To request more information about how to modern dentistry can help restore and maintain your oral health, or to schedule a dental checkup and cleaning with Dr. Young, contact our Lafayette dentist office at 337-237-6453. We serve families living in Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Scott, Youngsville, and surrounding communities. Dr. Young also invites you to find us on Facebook, where you’ll find news, tips, and valuable resources.