Sunday, 10 November 2013

Is Candy a Foe for our teeth??

Several Studies have shown a relation between dental caries & consumption of carbohydrates.(Sugar/Sugar candies)

Does this mean:-
If you have a Sweet Tooth you will also have a tooth decay?? "

Dental Caries- defined as the gradual decay of the teeth. A dental cavity is a hole in tooth caused by dental caries. 

Main factors responsible for dental caries:-  
  • Bacteria        
  • Carbhohydrate containing foods.
  • Length of time of teeth exposure to sugars/Carbs
All these factors must occur simultaneously for dental caries to convert into a Dental cavity.
There is a strong relationship between length of time for which sugar are present in mouth & development of caries.
-Sticky foods like carmel candies, potato chips,raisins etc which adhere to tooth for longer periods can lead to such tooth decay.
-Sipping sweetened/carbonated beverages continually can promote tooth Nursing bottle syndrome. 
Bacteria normally present in mouth interact with dietary carbs to produce acids. 
Tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria in mouth that feast on carbohydrates, be it sugar from candy or starch from wholesome foods such as biscuits or bread. 
The Acids not the sugars or carbohydrates cause decay.
Lets Discuss Process of Cavity formation - Tooth Decay...
Oral bacteria feed on carbohydrates & produce acid as a byproduct of simple fermentation.
Such bacteria live on the teeth as biofilm called Plaque.
The acid produced degrades tooth enamel.

A human tooth is in a constant state of mineralization & demineralization.
Saliva helps neutralize this acid.
But if saliva secretion is less.The region gets too acidic, then demineralization takes over mineralization.Tooth decay sets in.

As all carbs are responsible for acid formation in mouth. Not only SUCROSE or SUGAR CANDIES but all types of sugars-fructose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, lactose can promote cavity formation.
Reduce the time of dental contact with carbohydrates.
Certain foods may help in counteracting the effects of acids produced by oral bacteria .
e.g. Aged cheese, fibrous fruits, citrus fruits, celery stimulates production of saliva in generous amounts.
Saliva clears the mouth of food & counteracts bacterial acid production.

As saliva production increases during the meals.Thus, sugars/carbs consumed in between meals is considered less likely to cause tooth decay. 

Sipping plain water post carbohydrate consumption to clear the oral cavity of the food.
Or using mouth wash to rinse off mouth post food consumption is best way to combat caries.

I may conclude, candies may cause tooth decay but they can't be termed as sole culprits.

Its our negligence towards Good Oral Hygiene thats bigger factor responsible for Tooth Decay.
Good Oral Hygiene!! Keep smiling!!