How Sugar Contributes To Gum Disease

When it comes to gum disease, a lot of people hear that they have to floss and then tune out for the rest. While flossing is a great way to improve and maintain gum health, it's not the only thing that you need to know about. The amount of sugar that you eat could have a potential impact on your gums, too. Here's what you need to know about the problems it causes and how you can combat them.


Bacteria are ultimately responsible for both gum disease and cavities. Cavities are caused by plaque breaking down the structure of a tooth and bacteria taking advantage of it by chewing away at the tooth's inner surfaces. This is what causes a cavity to progress.

However, bacteria are also responsible for gum disease. Why is this a problem, and how is it relevant to sugar? These bacteria thrive on sugar, so when you consume more sugar, the bacteria thrive, and they can cause gum disease.


Tartar is another problem that's created by bacteria and can cause gum disease. It's not something you hear about all the time—most people probably think of their teeth when hearing about tartar. But tartar can develop on the gums, too.

When tartar forms on the gums, it acts like a thick bandage that prevents anything from getting in or out. This is bad news for your gums because it cuts off their air circulation and keeps anything from getting out of the gums. This means that the bacteria have nowhere to go and can make your gums worse.

Fixing the Problem

There are a couple of things you can do to amend this problem. The first is to visit a dentist for a teeth cleaning. Your dentist can immediately strip away tartar that's preventing your gums from healing and can treat gum disease, no matter what stage it's in. This is important, as gum disease needs to be treated soon for the best results.

Second, and most importantly, you should try to cut down the amount of sugar that you eat on a daily basis. This can be tough to do, but with a little determination, you can pull it off. You don't have to cut it out completely; just reduce the amount you consume. For added benefits, rinse your mouth with water (or preferably, brush) immediately after eating sugar to kill off bacteria and protect your gums.