January 16, 2016

People often talk about how sugar negatively affects the teeth, but did you know that it can also potentially contribute to the development of gum disease? Since January 19th is National Popcorn Day and many people will celebrate by enjoying both sweet and savory varieties of popcorn, we want to remind current and potential patients of the importance of curbing sugar cravings whenever possible to prevent gum disease.

How Does Sugar Affect the Gums?

Sugar affects the gums in two main ways:

  1. By weakening the immune system overall
  2. By contributing to the buildup of bacteria and plaque in the mouth

When consumed in excess, sugar depresses the immune system and inhibits neutrophils (an important type of white blood cell) from working properly. As the immune system becomes less able to perform its intended function, it leaves the body and the mouth more vulnerable to infection. At the same time, sugar contributes to the buildup of bacteria, which eventually helps to form plaque in the mouth and could lead to cavities and periodontal disease.

Tips for Curbing Your Cravings

Now that you know how harmful sugar can be to your oral health, what can you do about it? If you already have symptoms of gum disease, see your periodontist in Las Vegas, NV, right away. If you would like to prevent gum disease from developing in the first place, follow these helpful tips:

  • Chew sugar-free gum instead of indulging in sweets
  • Eat fruit when your cravings hit
  • Drink a glass of water when you’re craving sugar
  • Get up and do something active when your mind is dwelling on sweets
  • Eat regularly to avoid excessive hunger and cravings

Dr. Allen Huang is a trusted periodontist in Las Vegas, NV, who regularly treats patients with gum disease that may be caused by excessive sugar intake combined with poor dental hygiene. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Huang, call our practice at (702) 727-4210 today. We look forward to seeing you!



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