Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad for Your Teeth?


Artificial sweeteners have become quite popular over the years, thanks to their low-calorie content and great flavor. If you’re a fan of diet soda or sugar-free foods, chances are you’ve consumed artificial sweeteners at some point in your life. We all know that sugar causes cavities, but what about stevia, aspartame and other substitutes? Let’s take a closer look at how artificial sweeteners impact your oral health.

Artificial Sweeteners Cannot Form Cavities

Tooth decay comes from microscopic bacteria that feed on sugars – glucose, sucrose and fructose. Artificial sweeteners like stevia are not part of this sugar family, so the bacteria cannot use them to grow. In other words, the bacteria in your mouth will not get any fuel from the artificial sweeteners. They can only thrive on actual sugar.

With this in mind, you shouldn’t set out to consume artificial sweeteners. There are no scientific studies at this time to determine how these substances affect short-term and long-term oral health. Until those questions are answered, it is best to eat and drink sugar substitutes in moderation.

Indirect Ways Sugar Substitutes Cause Cavities

It’s important to note that many drinks with artificial sweeteners aren’t completely sugar free. This is particularly true with diet sodas. They main sweetener in the soda may not be sugar, but that does not mean that the other ingredients are sugar-free. These drinks also make you more prone to consumer junk food, which is riddled with sugar in its own right. Don’t assume you’re in the clear just because aspartame is on the ingredient list.

How to Avoid Tooth Decay No Matter What

Whether you consumer artificial sweeteners or not, you should always practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. Drink water throughout the day to keep your mouth rinsed and hydrated. Visit your dentist twice a year for a professional teeth cleaning and oral exam, and follow any care recommendations he or she may have.

If you’re looking for a family dentist in Michigan, Redwood Dental has several locations to choose from. We offer family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and emergency dentistry in Metro Detroit and surrounding areas. Give us a call at (800) 462-2222 to schedule an appointment with a top dentist near you.