Does Sugar Cause Cavities?

With Halloween just around the corner, you’re looking forward to hayrides, trick-or-treating, and seasonal treats. While Halloween treats and candies are okay in moderation, too much sugar can contribute to problems like cavities. As your dentist in Lititz, PA, we want to remind you to have fun but enjoy sugar in moderation to keep your teeth cavity-free.

Does Sugar Cause Cavities?

Is Sugar the Only Cause of Tooth Decay?

All carbohydrates, which includes sugars and starches, can contribute to tooth decay. However, the sugars or starches themselves do not cause tooth decay. Harmful bacteria feed on sugars and starches left in the mouth. These bacteria create digestive acids that break down the teeth over time.

Gradually, harmful bacteria create pits or holes in the teeth called cavities. The bacteria can enter the tooth through these cavities and affect the living cells, nerves, and vessels within your tooth.

Additionally, multiple factors can contribute to tooth decay:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Genetics
  • Tooth damage

You may also be at an increased risk of tooth decay if you have diabetes or take certain medications.

How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Whether you’re at home or in our office, there are multiple ways in which you can care for your smile and prevent:

Brushing and Flossing

Your first defense against cavities and tooth decay are a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing daily can remove plaque and tartar that contribute to cavities. Plaque is a bacterial film that can coat the teeth and gums. If plaque is not removed, it hardens to form tartar. You cannot remove tartar with brushing and flossing alone, so make sure you schedule a visit if you notice white deposits surrounding your teeth.

Keeping Track of Your Sugar Intake

It’s essential to ensure you don’t eat too much sugar, as sugar can attract harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. If you’re diabetic, keeping your blood sugar in check can reduce the risk of developing a tooth or gum infection. Sometimes, sugar can hide in foods and drinks you wouldn’t expect. Fruit juices, sports drinks, cocktails, and lemonades can hide sugar amounts exceeding your daily intake. Consume sugar in moderation, especially around the holidays, to reduce your risk of dental infection.

Visiting the Dentist

At regular dental visits, we examine your smile for any signs of tooth decay. We will also take your symptoms into account when providing diagnoses. If you have signs of cavities or damage due to decay, we will find the best treatment option for your needs.

We provide routine dental cleanings that combat bacterial buildup. Our hygienists use tools that can remove plaque and tartar buildup that may be hard to reach at home. In addition, our fluoride treatments strengthen the tooth enamel, or outer layer of the tooth, to prevent dental cavities.

Are you noticing changes in your smile, including tooth pain and sensitivity? Call our Lititz, PA, dental office for an appointment today. You can also request a dental consultation with Dr. Sara Gotwalt online.


Drs. Sara & John Gotwalt
Lititz, PA Dentist
2320 Rothsville Road, Suite 300
Lititz, PA 17543

New Patients 717-627-6980


Monday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM

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