The Types of Sugar in Your Mouth

Five different sugars can feed the bacteria in your mouth, creating acid production that leads to tooth decay. It’s unnecessary to cut all sugar out of your diet, because even foods that you consider healthy contain a type of sugar. Let’s examine the types and sources of sugar.

  1. Sucrose: Sucrose is the most common sugar. It’s the…

Five different sugars can feed the bacteria in your mouth, creating acid production that leads to tooth decay. It’s unnecessary to cut all sugar out of your diet, because even foods that you consider healthy contain a type of sugar. Let’s examine the types and sources of sugar.

  1. Sucrose: Sucrose is the most common sugar. It’s the standard table sugar that most people recognize. It has the sweetest taste and is used in most candy. Sucrose is made up of glucose and fructose, and comes from plant sources like sugar cane and maple trees. The bacteria in your mouth can easily convert sucrose into a glue-like material that sticks to our teeth and forms plaque that is difficult to remove when brushing.
  2. Fructose: Fructose hides in “healthy foods” like fruits and root vegetables. Original fructose is not as sweet or harmful, but it is often concentrated into high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is a sugary liquid that is added to products to sweeten them, like fruit punch and soda. This form of fructose can harm your teeth.
  3. Glucose: Glucose is the main sugar and energy source in your body. Your body breaks down all other sugars and turns them into glucose. Glucose is often combined with fructose sugars, and common sources include fruits, vegetables, honey, syrup, and salad dressing.
  4. Lactose: Lactose doesn’t taste sweet like the other sugars. It is formed from glucose and galactose, and is usually found in milk and other dairy products. However, dairy products also contain high levels of calcium, which is necessary for body and teeth strength. Lactose can still produce acid on your teeth, but it’s essential to consume it.
  5. Maltose: Maltose is similar to lactose because it also doesn’t taste sweet, but is necessary for proper nutrients. This sugar is found in grains like bread, rice, and pasta. Maltose is also the main sugar found in beer.

Sucrose, fructose, and glucose-rich foods should be consumed in moderation. Lactose and maltose are found in foods that are nutritionally beneficial to your overall health. To reduce the risk of the sugar sticking to your teeth and causing decay, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after eating. Too much sugar buildup on your teeth can cause cavities that will need to be restored. Contact Knoxville Dentist to schedule an appointment with Dr. Erpenbach. He can inspect your mouth for any decay or troubled areas. Call our dental office in Knoxville, TN at (865) 240-2035.

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