It can be difficult to resist sweets during the holiday season. Treats like candy and chocolate are common this time of year and can be found almost everywhere. Although it’s easy to worry about waistlines, teeth can also cause concern.
What Are Cavities?
Dental cavities are holes in the teeth that can grow bigger if left untreated. These permanently damaged areas occur on the surface of a tooth. Cavities are created when there is destruction to the enamel caused by tooth decay.
Cavities can be painful. Experiencing a random toothache that appears to have no cause can be a symptom. Tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking something very hot or cold can also be a sign. Visible holes in the teeth, dark stains or pain while chewing are all dental issues that should be further examined by a dentist.
When bacteria called plaque forms onto the tooth, enamel can wear away over time. Children and adults over 50 are particularly susceptible to cavities, but adults of any age can suffer.
Does Candy Cause Cavities?
Eating sweets can have an impact on health. Most people during childhood heard a parent warn them about eating too much sugar, but does candy cause cavities?
Candy can take many forms. Lollipops, hard candy, and gummies all contain a substantial amount of sugar. Sugar, although often an ingredient that can help cause tooth decay, is not the actual root of the problem. Bacteria is ultimately what causes a cavity to form.
How Are Cavities Formed?
After digesting carbohydrates, a plaque from the mixture of bacteria and saliva can form in the mouth. If plaque builds up over time, bacteria and saliva will cause cavities from the erosion of tooth enamel. Small holes in the teeth are the first stage of a cavity.
Tiny holes in the enamel of a tooth can cause huge damage. Plaque is such a strong mixture of acid and bacteria that it can eat through other layers of the tooth. The pulp of a tooth which includes blood vessels and nerves can be severely impacted. If there is damage to the pulp, the bone that is supporting a tooth can cause extreme sensitivity.
Why Does Candy Have A Bad Reputation?
The sugar in candy can help the production of bacteria in the mouth, but ultimately it is its ability to hide that increases the likelihood of cavities. Candy is often small and can be difficult to reach if it gets lodged in one’s teeth.
Foods with a similar amount of sugar can be less likely to cause cavities simply because of its form. Yogurt, ice cream, and a variety of fruit can be easily washed down with water to clear out food substance from the teeth. Because it’s easy to clean soft, unbreakable food from the mouth, candy is much harder to remove.
Breath mints and hard lozenges are likely to get stuck between grooves and hard-to-reach spaces. Without proper brushing and flossing techniques, candy can stay between teeth for days before it finally dissolves. The buildup of plaque from this candy can easily cause tooth decay over time.
Mountain View Dental offers comfortable and professional dental services in Pleasant View, Utah. Cavities are best-taken care of early and do not require longer appointment times. For a variety of different dental treatments available, please don’t hesitate to set up an appointment. For more information, please call 385-324-3557.