Hidden Sugar & How it Affects Your Teeth

It’s no secret that eating too much sugar is bad for your health. Eating or drinking too much sugar has been linked to health problems like heart diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. But it can also severely damage your teeth and gums. 

Sugar is actually one of the major threats to good oral health. The bacteria in your mouth produce plaque feed on sugar. A buildup of plaque results in dangerous acids that can wreak havoc on your teeth. Additionally, the more plaque there is on your teeth, the harder it is for your saliva to wash it away and protect your teeth from damage.

The key to protecting your teeth and maintain good oral health is practicing good dental hygiene as well as limiting the amount of sugar you eat and drink. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), women shouldn’t consume more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, while men should limit their intake to no more than 36 grams per day. Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as many people would think, thanks to hidden sugars. 

Common Sources of Hidden Sugar

There are many foods and drinks that are loaded with a surprising amount of sugar. Commonly referred to as “hidden sugar traps,” these items should be avoided as much as possible. 

Salad Dressing

Salads are typically the go-to meal for the health-conscious. Unfortunately, no matter how many greens and vegetables a salad is loaded with, the dressing you use can make or break your meal. 

Sweet French dressings and vinaigrettes typically have up to seven grams of sugar in a single serving. Oil-based salad dressings are often loaded with sugar to enhance the flavor. Low-fat dressings often include ingredients like dextrose, glucose, honey, and maltose, which are different versions of sugar that can do just as much damage as the real thing. 

For a lower-sugar option, make your own full-fat mayonnaise-based dressing or vinegar and olive oil dressing. 

Sauces & Soups

Many sauces and soups contain a surprising amount of sugar. Popular pasta sauces have between six and 12 grams of sugar in a single serving. When shopping for sauces and soups, read the nutrition label and pay close attention to the amount of sugar or sugar alternatives. Whenever possible, make your own to avoid those dangerous added sugars.


Yogurt is often touted as a health food, but it depends on what kind you buy. Many popular yogurts contain shocking amounts of sugar. To avoid this health trap, opt for plain yogurt and mix in fresh fruit for a sweeter kick. 


Another common source of hidden sugar is bread. Some white or whole-meal bread can have as much as a half a teaspoon of sugar in a single slice. For those who like to enjoy a sandwich or toast each day, the amount of sugar consumed can quickly add up. 

Bread also tends to stick to your teeth, which can wreak havoc if not cleaned often or properly. 

To learn more about how to avoid hidden sugars and keep your teeth healthy, call Panama City Smiles at 850-588-0185 or contact us online. Schedule an appointment to have your teeth professionally cleaned and see what you can do to ensure you maintain optimal oral health.

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