Valentine’s Day is one of the greatest times of the year. People are not only rekindling their love, but they are also commemorating the holidays with some of the tastiest sweets imaginable. While candy is certainly a perk of Valentine’s Day, what most don’t account for are the negative consequences that candy consumption can have on their teeth. Understanding how candy affects your teeth, the warning signs of dental problems, and the steps to take will allow you to ensure that your teeth remain healthy.
At Runnels Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics we want you to enjoy Valentine’s Day with your loved ones, but not at the expense of your teeth. Indulging in too many sweet treats can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums – especially for those with braces. For good ways to steer clear of the candy this Valentine’s Day, contact Runnels Orthodontics today.
How Candy Affects Your Teeth
Candy can have some terrible consequences on your teeth, especially when it comes in the form of some of the most popular types of holiday candy. Valentine’s Day candy contains a great deal of sugar, roasted peanuts, corn syrup, hydrogenated palm kernel, and high-fructose corn syrup.
Consuming these substances can lead to severe consequences such as tooth decay, sensitivity, and they can also gain a yellow appearance due to exposure of dentin that sits below the enamel. Tooth decay is an especially significant problem because it is one of the main causes of dental pain, tooth abscess, broken teeth, problems chewing, tooth pus, and shifting of the teeth. When tooth decay occurs, the bacterium in the mouth essentially rots the tooth away. This can leave you feeling uncomfortable and in pain for a long period of time.
The best way to protect yourself from the consequences of candy during Valentine’s Day is to understand what the warning signs are surrounding tooth decay and other dental issues.
Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Foods
The first and most apparent sign of a problem is sensitivity to hot and cold foods. The discomfort will usually last for a moment. If you notice tooth sensitivity, then chances are that your tooth is developing decay or that you are suffering from gum recession that exposes the surface of your tooth’s root.
Another sign of tooth decay and other dental issues is aching teeth. If your teeth have a dull ache, then your tooth may be developing a cavity. You’ll also likely notice gum swelling around the affected tooth.
Constant Bad Breath
Finally, another sign of tooth decay is bad breath that just doesn’t seem to go away. Bad breath is caused by tooth decay because the tooth in the mouth is essentially rotting and bacterium is surrounding the tooth.
Steps to Take
If you notice that you’ve developed any of the above symptoms of tooth decay, there are a number of steps that you should take. The most important step is to set aside the candy. If you are suffering from a cavity, then eating sugary foods can exacerbate the problem. In addition, you’ll also want to take steps to mitigate the pain. For example, gargling warm salt water and taking some pain relief medication can be helpful. To prevent cavities in the future, it is useful to mitigate the amount of sugary foods you consume and to consistently visit your dental hygienist for regular check-ups.