The relationship between diet and tooth decay – M-Teeth

As we know, there is a dynamic relationship between sugar consumption in diet and tooth decay. However, many people focus on limiting the total sugar intake in their nutrition but ignore many sugar consumption every day. They do not know that the "invisible sugar" exists in many foods. The number of sugar intake has a greater impact on dental disease, especially tooth decay.

How does diet affect dental caries? 

(1) The nutrients in food can enhance the anti-decay ability of teeth. During tooth growth, the lack of protein and trace elements such as calcium, phosphorus, and iron may stunt teeth growth and increase the incidence of dental caries.

(2) Foods with high fat can significantly reduce oral bacteria and reduce the chance of tooth decay.

(3) Food can cause dental decay through the corrosive effect of acid, which is a metabolite of oral bacteria. Foods with high sucrose are more likely to cause dental decay, and sticky sweets such as bread, cakes, caramel, etc., tend to increase the incidence of tooth decay. When drinking sugary drinks, tooth decay does not increase. Therefore, children should avoid excessive consumption of sweets. Eating sugar before going to bed is very harmful to their teeth.

(4) Some foods contain factors that protect against dental caries including milk, cheese, unrefined plant foods and tea. Milk and cheese contain calcium, phosphate and casein all of which are anti-cariogenic. Also, fibrous foods such as vegetables, meat, and fruits have abrasive and cleansing effects on teeth. They are relatively less prone to fermentation, which can reduce the occurrence of tooth decay.

What are the causes of tooth decay? 

The bacteria that cause dental decay take sugar as "food". After the complex reactions, the dental plaques on the surface of teeth will form, which leads to the dissolution of the hard tissues of our teeth. Therefore, the key to preventing tooth caries is to interrupt this chain.

How can we prevent dental cavities?

Firstly, it is important to reduce the intake of sugar, it promotes to dental decay in two ways.

(i) Sugar contributes to the formation of plaque;

(ii) Sugar provides “food” for the bacteria that cause dental caries. With frequent sugar intake, it is difficult to balance the pH level in the gums, and it takes much more time to recover the damaged teeth. 

Secondly, plaque control is necessary. The bacteria can only occur in an environment where plaque is present, so it is especially important to control the occurrence of dental plaques.

6 Daily dental care tips:

Brushing: Choose the right toothbrush and toothpaste according to brushing and applying the correct brushing method. We recommend using electric toothbrushes, which are experimentally proven to have a much higher cleaning ability than manual toothbrushes. They can effectively prevent tooth decay.

Flossing: Even if you brush very carefully, it is difficult to remove plaque between the surface of two teeth, so it is recommended to use the water flosser or the floss.

Gargling: Use water or mouthwash to puff your mouth vigorously for 30 seconds and then spit it out to remove debris and flush out the acid produced by food.

Teeth cleaning: Visit a dentist regularly to clean your teeth. The dentist provides professional techniques to remove plaque and develops a personal oral maintenance plan on considering the patient's health condition and oral hygiene and lifestyle habits.

Maintaining Dental Health: Fluoride is the most clinically proven agent against dental decay. Seafood, beans, and tea contain a safe amount of fluoride and are consumed to prevent dental caries. For professional fluoride applications, please consult your dentist first.

 

References: 

  1.  Sugars and oral health are integrally related. Sugars and dental caries. (2003, octobre). Riva Touger-Decker, Cor van Loveren
  2.  Moynihan, P. (2000, 1 décembre). Foods and factors that protect against dental caries. Wiley Online Library. 
  3.  Bacterial Profile of Dentine Caries and the Impact of pH on Bacterial Population Diversity. (2014, mars). 
  4.  Stoltze, K., & Bay, L. (1994). Comparison of a manual and a new electric toothbrush for controlling plaque and gingivitis. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 21(2), 86-90. 
  5.  Pollick, H. (2018). The Role of Fluoride in the Prevention of Tooth Decay. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 65(5), 923-940.
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