Eli5: what exactly in sugar makes it so bad for our teeth, and why?


Eli5: what exactly in sugar makes it so bad for our teeth, and why?

In: 13

Sugar itself. The bacteria on your teeth feed on it, multiply, then start trying to feed on your teeth too.

Worse than sugar is starch. Sugar dissolves in your mouth and mostly gets swallowed. Starch can stick to your teeth and between your teeth feeding the bacteria for hours.

The sugar itself is bad. Sugar is a (relatively) simple chemical. So its not really a specific “part” that’s bad the whole this is.

That said it’s bad because bacteria can feed on it and multiple. It’s these bacteria that *actually* cause harm to your teeth. This is because the bacteria eat sugar and poop out acid. This acid eats away at your teeth and can cause cavities. Which are just hole in your teeth. These holes are bad on their own (obviously) but they also make it harder to fully clean out your teeth exacerbating the problem.

it’s like this:

sugar is good tasting to us. it’s also good tasting to other stuff. the other stuff lives in our mouths, and they poop out stuff that is bad for our teeth, because it hurts our teeth while making it hard to remove.

so, bacteria in our mouths will also eat the sugar and will ‘poop’ which causes 2 things:

* the poop eats away at our enamel, weakening our teeth, and
* the poop becomes hard, like concrete, and becomes a protective shell that prevents the removal of the bacteria and poop, if not removed fast enough