The high prevalence of refined sugar is one of the major contributing factors to plaque accumulation and its subsequent conversion to dental calculus. Dental plaque is composed of bacteria, salivary glycoprotein, and extracellular polysaccharides. Over time, plaque mineralizes and becomes calculus (also called tartar).
A high-sugar diet causes tooth discoloration due to the formation of acid byproducts. The acidity of these compounds strips calcium from the enamel and dentin, leading to tooth discoloration and erosion. In addition, the degraded areas are subsequently permeable to bacterial penetration, which leads to a proliferation of oral flora.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria, which use sugary food materials as a substrate for energy. When left unchecked, these bacteria produce acids that damage the teeth by dissolving their hard outer surface (enamel) and the softer inner layer (dentin). This can lead to cavities or even lead to tooth loss if left untreated.