By Cesar Acosta DMD Family Dentistry
October 14, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Many Turlock patients believe that sugar is the absolute worst for your teeth. We are all familiar with the fact that consuming too much sodium can increase chances of developing high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, but you may not know that salt can be just as aggravating to your teeth as sugar. Dr. Cesar Acosta wants his patients to know the facts when it comes to sodium and dental health.
Salt and Tooth Decay
I’m sure you’re wondering how sodium comes into play with oral health. The salt itself does not damage tooth enamel, but sodium and carbohydrates often go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to processed foods. Oral bacteria feasts on simple sugars and produces tough acids whenever you consume any food or beverage that contains carbohydrates. The acids are kept in contact with tooth enamel by plaque that forms in your mouth throughout the day. The longer it remains in your mouth, the more time the tooth enamel becomes damaged.
Bread, pizza, pasta, and salty snacks are among the top sources of sodium in the American diet. While most of these foods are relatively low in sugar, some of their starches can be broken down into simple sugars by the enzymes in your mouth. As your body breaks them down, the starches generate the same damaging effects to your teeth as sugar would.
Sodium can also weaken your teeth. A lot like bones, tissues make up your teeth rely on calcium to give them structure and strength. A high sodium intake is shown to increase the amount of calcium your body disposes of through urine, which can lead to osteoporosis and tooth loss.
The Other View of Salt and Your Teeth
The American Heart Association does not recommend using salt liberally in your diet. You should not consume more than 1,500 milligrams a day. Rather than consuming sodium, applying it to your teeth or using it as a mouthwash can actually be beneficial. The American Dental Association believes that sodium lauryl sulfate and other sodium-based compounds act as foaming detergents in toothpaste. A mild salt rinse is also recommended to sooth painful tooth sores or bacterial infections.
No matter what your diet may be, it is very important that you partake in daily oral hygiene, as well as annual dental cleanings and checkups. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment or for more information.