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San Jose Dentist Discusses Fast Food and Your Teeth

Posted Sep 08 2012 1:54am

The destruction that convenient and fast foods cause our physical health is no longer a mystery. Fast food and health issues almost go hand in hand, and health professionals continue to warn of the dangers of consuming processed burgers and fries. With most of the attention focused on your physical and systemic health, many people overlook the effects that such food choices can have on your oral health. Given the popularity of fast-food restaurants in spite of health warnings, Silicon Valley dentist Dr. Randall LaFrom highlights the dangers your drive-thru lunch poses to your teeth.

While the popular conception is that too much sugar causes cavities, the truth is that oral bacteria can synthesize acid from many different kinds of foods, not just sugar. The consumption of foods that are high in calories, fat, sugar, and salt, such as fast food, has created a “toxic” food environment that has proven as detrimental to oral health as it has to physical wellbeing. The acid that oral bacteria produce from these foods attack and weaken your tooth enamel until bacteria can slip past and begin eating away your tooth. Even supposedly-healthy choices can be lead to tooth decay. For instance, diet soft drinks may be free of sugar, but they contain carbonic and phosphoric acids, which bypass the synthesis process and proceed directly to destroying tooth enamel. Water is the best beverage choice for its ability to neutralize the acid in your meal, as well as rinse away bacteria and the food particles that feed them.

The enamel that covers and protects your teeth is the strongest and most mineralized substance that your body produces. While it does not contain living cells to self-repair structural damage (as in bones), enamel strengthens itself by absorbing the minerals that it is composed of, mainly calcium and phosphate. Because the human body does not produce these minerals on its own, we must acquire them in the foods we eat and beverages we drink. Fast foods and processed convenient foods (i.e., vending machine snacks) lack many of the nutrients that your teeth and body needs to remain in tip-top shape. Relying on these food choices for your diet can cause a nutrient deficiency that will deteriorate your body and oral health.

To learn more about nutrition, diets, and the health of your teeth, schedule a consultation with Dr. LaFrom at our Cupertino dentist office by calling (408) 996-8595. We serve patients from Saratoga, Campbell, Sunnyvale, San Jose, and Santa Clara County.


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