Our diet can have a big impact on our oral health. While there are some foods that can have negative effects on oral health, there are also foods that can help keep teeth healthy and strong. Read on to learn about some foods and beverages that can wreak havoc on your oral health:
Sugar is one of the most common causes of tooth decay in children and adults. Bacteria in the mouth use sugar to create acids. These acids eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities. Consuming foods that contain sugar can also increase your risk of gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to the loss of teeth.
Hard candies cause lots of damage. First, they can cause your jaw muscles to clench down. This can lead to headaches and jaw pain. Plus, the hard sugar can erode your teeth and cause cavities.
Acidic foods can cause dental erosion and enamel wear. These foods include citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, and other acidic foods. During eating, the acids in these foods are released, which can soften and damage your dental enamel. The softened enamel can break down easily, leaving teeth sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
Beer, wine, and liquor all contain a lot of sugar, which sticks to your teeth. These drinks can also cause dry mouth, which leads to tooth decay. Alcohol can also weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. If you’re going to drink, try to drink water along with it. This will keep your mouth hydrated and wash away excess food.
Tobacco use causes bad breath, stains the teeth, and leads to many oral health complications. Tobacco contains over 4,000 chemicals, which are largely responsible for its addictive properties. These chemicals are absorbed through the oral and nasal mucosa and inhaled into the lungs. Tobacco use can also lead to dry mouth, which worsens bad breath. A dry mouth also increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Tobacco use also affects the body’s ability to heal.
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and much of that popularity stems from its flavor and ability to give drinkers a jolt of energy in the morning. Unfortunately, coffee can wreak havoc on oral health. In fact, coffee is doubly bad for your teeth because it can stain them and exacerbate any oral inflammation.
Sports drinks are among the most popular beverages consumed during exercise. However, they are also among the most damaging. They are filled with sugar and acids, which combine to cause enamel erosion, which can make teeth more vulnerable to decay and sensitivity to hot and cold. If you are exercising or trying to stay hydrated, plain water is the best choice.
Soda is high in sugars and acids, which increases your risk of tooth decay. If you drink soda, try to drink only in moderation and with a meal.
To learn more, please schedule an appointment online or call All Smiles Family Dentistry at (319) 553-3085 to have a consultation with Dr. Jennifer A. Stevenson or Dr. Sarah Cyr, and we will be happy to help.