Can Salt Harm Your Smile?
March 16, 2023
What foods cause cavities? Your initial answer may be candy or sweets. It is easy to blame these as the main culprits, but the truth is far more complicated. In fact, did you know that although salt doesn’t directly lead to cavities, having too much of it in your diet can increase the likelihood of tooth damage? In this post, learn how salt, or sodium, can impact your teeth and what you can do to keep your smile healthy.
Sodium Found in Carbohydrates
Foods like bread, pizza crust, crackers, chips, and other processed products contain a considerable amount of sodium, but they also are high in carbohydrates. When you bite and chew up these foods, the enzymes in your mouth begin to break them down similarly to sugar. To the bacteria, they are identical to a sweet treat, meaning that cavity-causing bacteria love when you eat processed foods with a lot of carbs and sodium.
In other words, you can still get tooth decay or a gum infection, even if you have cut candy, cookies, and other sugar-filled goodies from your daily intake, if you continue to eat carb and sodium-heavy foods.
Sodium Weakens Bones and Teeth
Did you know that calcium is just as beneficial for your smile as it is for your bones? In addition to strengthening the jawbone, calcium also reinforces tooth enamel, making it harder for decay to damage your pearly whites.
However, another unfortunate effect of having too much salt in your diet is that it causes more calcium to be lost through your urine instead of being absorbed by your body. As a result, your teeth and jawbone receive fewer nutrients and become more vulnerable to oral infections, including cavities.
Why a Balanced, Healthy Diet Matters for Your Smile
The ill effects of too much sugar and salt on your body are well documented and studied, and these substances also lead to problems for your oral health. When you choose to eat these kinds of foods, you encourage bad bacterial growth, putting your smile at risk of severe damage.
On the other hand, you can help your smile stay strong by consuming foods that are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, like leafy greens and broccoli, and foods that scrub away plaque and bacteria, like carrots, apples, and watermelon.
In the end, your choices about the foods you eat can either weaken or strengthen your teeth. Being careful about how much sugar and salt you have each day can help you avoid painful cavities and have a brilliant, long-lasting smile!
About the Practice
In Lincoln, the team at Pioneer Greens Dentistry focuses on a preventive approach to oral health. Although our dentists have the technology, training, and experience to perform more advanced services, they encourage patients to avoid dental damage as much as possible. If you have questions about your diet or preventing cavities, you can schedule an appointment at Pioneer Greens Dentistry online or call the office at 402-483-7502.
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