What role does sugar play in tooth decay?
There are three things needed to produce a cavity: bacteria, a susceptible tooth (not sealed) and sugar. Everyone has some bacteria in their mouth. These bacteria feed on the sugars in the mouth produced by the breakdown of starchy foods or the simple sugars in things such as soda or candy. As the bacteria eat, they produce an acidic waste. Once bacteria colonize and feed on sugars in the mouth, the group produces enough acid to cause decay. There are two primary lessons to be learned from this explanation. The less sugar and starch in a person’s diet, the less likely bacteria will thrive, grow and produce decay causing acids. The simple act of brushing and flossing the teeth will disrupt and remove colonizing bacteria so they will be unable to produce enough acid to cause decay. Diet and oral hygiene habits are directly related to cavity causing decay!