If Foods Are Sugar-Free, Are They Less Likely to Cause Cavities?
Posted on 3/25/2020 by Dr. Frank K. Sioda
Sugar-free foods are good if you are trying to lose weight. And sugary foods certainly do increase your risk of cavities. Unfortunately, simply the fact that a food or drink is sugar-free is not the answer to having a cavity-free life. Sugar, in and of itself, is not the cause of cavities though it certainly does contribute. Cavities are not that simple.
Cavities have a higher chance of forming if the food or drink that you are using is acidic. Cavities form when acid erodes the enamel that covers your teeth and protects them from decay. When the enamel erodes it leaves your teeth more susceptible to bacteria. Sugar helps to make that process occur faster. You could say it provides the fuel. In that sense, sugar-free products do not provide the fuel, but the food or drink that they are contained in is what causes the problem.
So, Are Sugar-Free Foods Bad?
Sugar-free foods and drinks are good because they introduce less sugar into the process. But many times what our patients are eating or drinking that is sugar-free contains other components that are bad. For example, sugar-free candy and sports drinks have ingredients that are acidic to add a tangy flavor. It is important to look at the ingredients list of what you eat and drink.
If something is sugar-free but contains citric acid, you have just wiped out the benefit your teeth get from the food or beverage being sugar-free. Phosphoric acid is another ingredient that can wipe out the benefits of your drink or food having no sugar. Even sugar-free fruit juice can be a problem due to the other ingredients. On the bright side, you should stimulate the saliva that you produce and sugar-free gum is a great way to do it, but again, check the ingredients. If you want further information come on in and we can discuss it at your next checkup.
Talk to one of our caring patient coordinators today to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Frank Sioda 18676 Williamette Dr. Suite 202 West Linn, OR 97068-1718