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One thing we are taught since we are young is to limit sugars so we don’t get cavities. But is sugar actually the culprit here?

This is a very important question, for the more you know about cavities, the more prepared you are to combat them. The short answer to the question is: yes and no. Sugar intake is related to cavity formation, but indirectly. Let’s take a closer look at what causes cavities.

Though there are some exceptions, cavities are holes in your tooth enamel, typically caused by enamel erosion due to acid (some damage to enamel comes from injury). So if cavities come from acids, how does sugar play into it? The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars present in food. They then create an acidic byproduct, which erodes the enamel, forming a hole that exposes the inner tissues of your teeth (including the nerve endings).

Acids present in food and drink can also cause enamel erosion more directly. Avoid highly acidic beverages such as wine and sports drinks. Also, follow your childhood dentist’s advice nd avoid sugary foods, as they, too, contribute to cavity formation.

For more information, call Rogue Valley Family Dentistry in Medford, Oregon, at 541-773-4073. Dr. Don Schiess and our team are happy to help!