Dental Cavities and the Role Sugar Plays

Posted on:

January 20, 2021

You must have heard many people saying that sugar rots teeth or sugar causes cavities. There is a definite link between eating sugar and cavities forming. With Halloween around the corner, and our dental office being in Salem, MA, the Halloween capital of the world, we wanted to talk about the relationship between sugar and cavities.

A cavity by definition is an empty space within a solid object. So, a dental cavity is an empty space within a tooth. The empty space is first created by the destruction of a tooth’s enamel.  The enamel is the hard, outer layer of a tooth.

How does the enamel break down? Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on teeth. (Plaque formation starts within 20 minutes of eating food.) When we eat and drink foods containing sugars, the sugar content acts as a catalyst to forming plaque and tartar buildup. The bacteria in the plaque produce acids that attack the enamel. 

Because plaque is sticky, it keeps the acid in contact with the teeth, and over time, if not removed, the enamel will erode. This erosion of enamel is when a cavity is formed. If unattended for a prolonged period, there may be tooth loss.

This is how sugar forms cavities. Even if sugar does not directly cause cavities, it increases the chances of cavity formation and it can even be considered that sugar begins the process of cavity formation. Thus, there is a clear relationship between sugar and cavities.

With Halloween, comes the eating of candy which has high sugar content. But it is very likely that consuming too much sugar might lead to cavities. It is important that we do not allow the sugar and the plaque to stay on our teeth for long periods of time.

What we recommend is:

  1. Brushing twice a day and even throw in an extra time on days such as Halloween, when you consume a lot of sugar.
  2. Floss daily.
  3. Eat nutritious and balanced meals.
  4. Eat sugary foods only during mealtime.
  5. Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and exams.

The link between sugar and cavities is clear and undeniable. It is essential to follow the above tips to maintain good oral health, especially if you have a sweet tooth and can’t bear to stop eating desserts. You don’t need to cut sugar out of your diet entirely, but you do need to take care of your teeth and prevent the formation of cavities.

Dental Cavities and the Role Sugar Plays
John Dudley
John Dudley
January 20, 2022
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

I could not be any more fortunate and grateful for Dr. George Orfaly accepting me recently as a new patient! I switched over from my previous provider in a nearby community after receiving subpar care and at risk of losing two teeth. He and the entire team at Fisher & Orfaly Dental have made my transition a smooth and comfortable one, setting me at ease and swiftly on the path to a promising prognosis! I also know that both Dr. Orfaly and Dr. Fisher care a great deal about the community beyond the walls of their practice, too, both quite supportive of local nonprofit and charitable efforts. This all makes me feel wonderful about being a patient, one of the best decisions I've ever made. You and your family should consider switching to Fisher & Orfaly!

William Stewart
William Stewart
January 20, 2022
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

Needed a new dentist in Salem, picked Dr. Orfaly by location. I met him before agreeing to my first appointment, and so far, have been very happy. I'm a curious sob, and credit Dr Orfaly for being patient with my atmospheric river of questions. He knows how to relate to patients, and seems to be on top of his game. Highly recommend.

Carol Gray
Carol Gray
October 21, 2020
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

Everything about my dental experience is professional and considerate.

Peter Gaudreault
Peter Gaudreault
August 5, 2020
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

Made you feel comfortable, right from the start. Definitely five stars found my new dentist!

Ed Schutte
Ed Schutte
January 10, 2020
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

I have been a patient of Fisher & Orfaly for many years now. But recently, my whole family moved to the practice. Their approach has always been kind, caring and practical.

John Dudley
John Dudley
January 20, 2022
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

I could not be any more fortunate and grateful for Dr. George Orfaly accepting me recently as a new patient! I switched over from my previous provider in a nearby community after receiving subpar care and at risk of losing two teeth. He and the entire team at Fisher & Orfaly Dental have made my transition a smooth and comfortable one, setting me at ease and swiftly on the path to a promising prognosis! I also know that both Dr. Orfaly and Dr. Fisher care a great deal about the community beyond the walls of their practice, too, both quite supportive of local nonprofit and charitable efforts. This all makes me feel wonderful about being a patient, one of the best decisions I've ever made. You and your family should consider switching to Fisher & Orfaly!

William Stewart
William Stewart
January 20, 2022
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

Needed a new dentist in Salem, picked Dr. Orfaly by location. I met him before agreeing to my first appointment, and so far, have been very happy. I'm a curious sob, and credit Dr Orfaly for being patient with my atmospheric river of questions. He knows how to relate to patients, and seems to be on top of his game. Highly recommend.

Carol Gray
Carol Gray
October 21, 2020
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

Everything about my dental experience is professional and considerate.

Peter Gaudreault
Peter Gaudreault
August 5, 2020
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

Made you feel comfortable, right from the start. Definitely five stars found my new dentist!

Ed Schutte
Ed Schutte
January 10, 2020
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

I have been a patient of Fisher & Orfaly for many years now. But recently, my whole family moved to the practice. Their approach has always been kind, caring and practical.

This post was first posted on October 22, 2018, and last updated on January 20, 2021.
Maura Murphy
Maura Murphy
January 24, 2022
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

I was not a fan of going to the dentist! One might say afraid… but thanks to the amazing team at Fisher & Orfaly I am back on track with my 6 month cleanings. The team did an amazing job calming my fears and I can actually say I may even enjoy going to the dentist now! The team is professional, accommodating, and they do a fabulous job cleaning my teeth! I am so grateful that they have me back on track with great dental habits. They certainly have given me something to smile about.

Corbin Bettencourt
Corbin Bettencourt
January 24, 2022
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

Who likes to go to the dentist? Fear no more. Dr. Orfaly and his staff provide an environment of ease and professionalism that relieve the jitters that so many feel during visits to the dentist. Whether a routine check up or more complex procedure, our experiences have been most positive.

Jacqueline Traynor
Jacqueline Traynor
May 19, 2021
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

I am someone who has been terrified of the Dentist from a very young age, but after seeing Dr. Orfaly and his team over the past couple of months I have 100% gotten over my fears. I have never felt more comfortable and taken care of by the staff. Everyone is so nice and down to earth they make you feel welcome! Dr. Orfaly even came in on a day they were closed because I was having extreme tooth pain, and he totally fixed the problem, I will never forget that. I’m so happy I decided to go to Fischer & Orfaly, best decision I’ve ever made!

Ashley Spencer
Ashley Spencer
April 1, 2021
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

Dr Orfaly is the best dentist around! I have alot of anxiety around going to the dentist & Dr Orfaly always makes sure to check in to see how I'm doing & is so nice. If a referral is needed to a specialist, he makes the call for you & gets you an appt quickly (mine was even the same day) I love how they book you with the same dental hygienist for all cleanings.. Adds another level of comfort... Shoutout to mine, Kathy!! 😊

Martina Pena-Martes
Martina Pena-Martes
February 7, 2020
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

Before coming to Fisher & Orflay my daughter hated coming to the dentist, she now looks forward to her appointments fully knowing and understanding every procedure being done. They make her visits pleasant each and every time, providing excellent service with the help of their friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Sam Smullin
Sam Smullin
January 22, 2020
Star-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-ratingStar-rating

After many years of neglecting my my teeth due to fear of the dentist my dental issues got bad enough that I had no choice but to adress them. I randomly selected Fisher & Orfaly and am very glad that I did. Dr Orfaly did a great job while making sure I was as comfortable as possible.After completing the initial, extensive repairs my mouth looks and feels great. In the 10 years since I first visited I had had no new major work needed. Even better, I can walk into the office without that sense of dread that is familiar to so many people.

Dr. George Orfaly
Dr. George Orfaly, D.M.D.

About the author

Dr. George Orfaly is a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry and has been practicing as a dentist in Salem, MA since 2005. He has consistently improved the lives of his patients by providing them relief, confidence, and healthy smiles. He believes that oral health is directly related to overall health and well-being. Dr. Orfaly has also been an active member of the American Dental Association, Massachusetts Dental Society, and North Shore District Dental Society.

You might also like

Dental Implants vs Dental Crowns
Dental Implants vs Dental Crowns

When deciding between dental implants vs dental crowns, it is important to speak with your dentist to see which option is right for you.

March 24, 2022
Tooth Loss In Adulthood: How It Occurs And What To Do
Tooth Loss In Adulthood: How It Occurs And What To Do

Tooth loss is more common in adults than most people think. Many adults lose their teeth due to disease, trauma, or aging. It is also possible to lose teeth due to bad oral hygiene.

October 1, 2021
Why is My Tooth Sensitive to Cold or Hot?
Why is My Tooth Sensitive to Cold or Hot?

Is the thought of having ice cream or a cup of hot coffee upsetting? Does brushing your teeth with cold water make you wince

August 25, 2021
Fisher & Orfaly Map

18 Hawthorne Blvd. Salem, MA 01970

Get Directions
Office Hours

Monday       : 8 am - 7:30 pm
Tuesday       : 8 am - 5 pm
Wednesday : 8 am - 7:30 pm
Thursday     : 8 am - 5 pm
Friday           : 8 am - 12 pm