Sugar and Oral Health – Know the Facts!

Sugar isn’t good for any part of our bodies but when it comes to your teeth and mouth it can be particularly dangerous. Dental pain, discolouration and decay are all associated with consuming too much sugar and will reduce all the positive effects of looking after your teeth and regular visits to the dentist, if you’re eating and drinking too much sugar.

Free sugars

The types of sugar that are the most harmful are called ‘free sugars’ and you’ll find these naturally occurring in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices, as well as added to food and drink. Adults should consume no more than 30g of this type of sugar a day – that’s around seven sugar cubes. Cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sweets, some cereals and fizzy drinks all contain added sugar and some may have more than your daily allowance of sugar in a single portion.

Read the labels

To ensure you know what you and your family are eating it’s important to read the labels – high sugar content is indicated by anything over 22.5g of total sugars per 100g. Low sugar content is 5g of total sugars or less per 100g.

How does tooth decay occur?

The bacteria in the mouth takes sugars from food and drink to produce acids that go to work on your teeth, decaying and eroding them. Anything that has a lot of sugar in it will contribute significantly to this process and the longer the sugar stays on your teeth the worse the effect will be – this is why eating sugary snacks in between meals is even more damaging. Teeth become eroded when the acid starts to dissolve the outer layer of tooth enamel and at this stage the only solution may be restorative dentistry such as fillings or crowns.


Tips for cutting down on sugar damage


– Swap fizzy drinks and fruit juices for waters

– Don’t drink sugary or acidic drinks just before you go to sleep

– Avoid breakfast cereals covered in sugar or honey

– Snack on cheese, raw vegetables and nuts instead of biscuits and cakes

– Remember that fruit and fruit juice can have the same damaging effect on your teeth as foods and drinks containing added sugars so consume them wisely.

Perhaps the most important part of your plan to avoid sugar damage is to make sure that you get regular check ups. See your dental hygienist and your dentist regularly to keep your smile bright. You can book with Smile Pad in London, Bristol, Chertsey & Salisbury make an appointment for a check up today.


We are pleased to inform all patients seeking dental treatment that our practices are, and will remain open to cater to all your dental needs and maintain your oral health. We are available should you need advice, urgent care, or simply wish to attend for any other dental treatment. Our practices operate under the strictest government guidance and coronavirus protocols. Your safety and the safety of your family remains our priority. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice.
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