Tooth decay is only the beginning of potential health issues 

Halloween is the time of year when many of us have a tendency to overindulge in sugar-loaded sweets. While helping yourself to a few Halloween treats is fine, plowing through a bag of assorted items from the candy aisle can have unhealthy consequences for your teeth and overall health. 

Sugary candies and chocolates can really do a number on your teeth. The stickier the candy, the more opportunity that harmful bacteria has to produce the acids that erode tooth enamel. Caramels and taffy certainly fall into the sticky category. These types of candies can get stuck between your teeth and remain there even after you brush your teeth. 

Consuming a whole bunch of candy in a short period of time can lead to tooth sensitivity. The high sugar content can spike your blood sugar levels and lead to inflammation in the pulp regions of your teeth. This can result in heightened sensitivity to both hot and cold foods and drinks. 

The rest of your body doesn’t react well to candy, either 

Your teeth are the most obvious risk area for Halloween candy, but did you know those sugar spikes to your blood sugar also can impact everything from your weight to how well you sleep? It’s true. Many candies contain caffeine as well as sugar, both of which can interfere with your sleep patterns. 

This is especially the case if you eat candy in the evening. Poor sleep can negatively affect your mental health as well, making it doubly important to avoid candy consumption and its associated blood sugar spike close to bedtime. 

Make sure to check labels to avoid candies that contain common allergens, such as nuts or dairy, if you are sensitive to those ingredients. Overindulging can lead to weight gain and increase your risk of developing metabolic problems such as type 2 diabetes. 

Leave it to a dentist to rain on a happy topic such as candy, right? Just remember that moderation is the key to enjoying treats any time of year, not just around Halloween. Have fun, stay safe, and brush and floss your teeth before you go to bed. Your best treat will always be a happy and healthy you. 

About Dr. Dennis Lucas – Naples, Florida, dentist 

Dr. Dennis Lucas performs cosmetic and restorative dental techniques, as well as traditional preventive dental services for patients in and around Naples, Florida. His expertise, supported by the latest in dental technology, ensures oral health plays a role in his patients’ total healthcare picture. Call (239) 262-5851 to schedule an appointment.