When you think of an addiction, you’re probably thinking of a life-ruining substance, but research shows that sugar addiction may cause the body to respond in the same ways it would when introduced a habit-forming drug. Maybe that’s why you can’t end a meal without a sweet treat or you routinely toss five sugar packets in your coffee each morning. Whatever your bad sugar habit may be, it can be a leading cause of bad breath.
Sugar and your oral health
Sugar is the mouth’s worst enemy. It acts as food for the anaerobic bacteria that live in the mouth and produce foul odors. Sugars are a form of fermentable carbohydrate, which are introduced to the digestion process in the oral cavity. This process creates acid and a lower pH in the mouth and works against the teeth’s enamel. What this means is that your sugar addiction may be causing halitosis and tooth decay. These issues will be more severe if you do not keep up brushing, flossing and rinsing.
Steps to minimizing your addiction to sugar
Sugar is one of the top bad breath foods, and it may be in a lot more things than you think. Instead of putting yourself in a situation where you have to give up all of your sugar habits, take it one step at a time. Following any sugary treat, make sure to drink water to help wash down any remnants left in the mouth that will cause halitosis or tooth decay.
Whether you load your morning cup of Joe up with several packets of sugar or you regularly visit the local cafe to pick up a vanilla latte, this sugar intake can be deceiving. Since coffee is naturally bitter, you may not consider this a major part of your problem – but it is. Slowly train your palate to enjoy less sugar or densely sweetened creamer. After some time, you’ll actually start to enjoy the natural taste of coffee. If you still need a little something to perk up your coffee, try it with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. The vanilla taste may be enough to satisfy your craving.
Pay attention to the nutritional value of the snacks you typically consume. You may find that the yogurt you’re eating is advertised as a healthy snack, but it actually has loads of sugar – this may be why you’re so dependent on it. Take some time to look at the sugar content in other similar products and swap them out for something healthier. Better yet, munch on strawberries, an apple or grapes – these naturally sweet snacks are great for your overall and oral health.
The same goes with soda. Swap out your afternoon can of cola for an ice tea sweetened with honey or agave nectar.