The season of treats is upon us. That means your teeth and any ill-fitting crowns and bridges will be put to the test. What test? The sugar and sticky sweet test!
We all know the dangers of too much sugar: weight gain, an increased blood sugar level and cavities to name a few. As this is the season of Halloween and that means eating more sweets than usual, I will focus on sugar and the hazard it is to dental health. That sweet tooth you have, well the naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth also has a sweet tooth. In fact it loves sweets more than you do. This might actually turn you off your candy for a while, but as this bacteria is nourishing its sugar fix, it is doing nasty things to your teeth. The acid produced by the sugar lowers the pH level in your mouth, leaving you susceptible to a higher rate of tooth decay and tooth erosion.
Remember as a child when you tucked into those ultra-sticky treats? It took time to eat them as they became trapped between your teeth and wedged in any previously eroded parts of your teeth. You ate them just the same as they were so good. Since it took time to eat them, it gave bacteria more time to binge. That prolonged exposure to sugar meant that there was a perfect environment for the production of acid, leaving your teeth vulnerable.
Which sweets are the biggest offenders and give dentists the largest headaches?
As well as an assortment of acids and artificial colors, you have the added bonus of 36 grams of sugar in a small package. And if that is not enough – what is in a name? Sour! Because they are sour, they have more than usual amounts of citric acid affording you even faster erosion of tooth enamel.
One of the biggest culprits in patients losing a crown, or having a bridge or an orthodontic wire come loose. A dozen of these sticky, delectable treats will also provide you with 32 grams of sugar.
Weighing in with 32 grams of sugar in just a handful and is soft and sticky.
The perfect storm of sugar, gelatin and citric acid. That means high sugar content (22 grams), gelatin that sticks to your teeth and acid that lowers pH level in your mouth. Yum!
My personal favorite. However, with nearly 300 calories, 27 grams of sugar, the possibility of breaking a tooth on the chocolaty, caramel peanuts, I try not to eat too many. But, oh they are tasty!