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Eating Sweet Foods Produces Acid in the Mouth, Which Can Cause Tooth Decay - Task 1 Line Graph Reports

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.


Eating sweet foods produces acid in the mouth, which can cause tooth decay. (High acid levels are measured by low pH values)


Describe the information below and discuss the implications for dental health.


Write at least 150 words.

Eating Sweet Foods Produces Acid in the Mouth, Which Can Cause Tooth Decay - Task 1 Line Graph Reports

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Model Answer 1 (Band 9)

The graph illustrates the immediate effect that eating sweet foods has on the acid levels in the mouth, which if not mitigated, can lead to tooth decay, as represented by pH values.


An overview of the data reveals that the ingestion of sweetened substances instigates a rapid increase in acidity, with varying degrees of intensity and duration depending on the type of sugar consumed. Notably, the threshold pH level for safe oral health, above which tooth decay is unlikely, is consistently breached by all three substances tested.


In particular, the ingestion of cane sugar results in a precipitous drop in pH to 3.5 in a mere five minutes, with levels remaining below the critical point for upwards of 30 minutes. This indicates a sustained period during which the teeth are at a high risk of decay. Conversely, fruit sugar causes a less severe but still significant decline to a pH of nearly 4, with the mouth remaining in this heightened state of acidity for around 20 minutes. Honey appears to be the least harmful, as it lowers the pH level to just below 5, with the mouth recovering to safer levels after about 13 minutes.


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Model Answer 2 (Band 9)

The line graph provides a visual representation of how eating sweet foods can significantly impact the acidity levels in one's mouth, consequently posing a risk for tooth decay.


Overall, the diagram measures the precipitous fall in pH levels following the consumption of three types of sweeteners: fruit sugar, cane sugar, and honey.


Initially, the oral environment is neutral with a pH of 7. However, this equilibrium is disrupted upon the intake of sweet foods. Cane sugar causes a drastic plunge in pH to 3.5 within just 5 minutes, maintaining a harmful level of acidity for upwards of 30 minutes. Fruit sugar, though slightly less aggressive, still lowers the pH to near 4, lingering in the danger zone for approximately 20 minutes. Honey, considered relatively less detrimental in this context, reduces the pH level to just below 5, with the mouth remaining at a critical acidity for about 13 minutes.


This data is pivotal for dental health as it underscores the corrosive potential of dietary sugar. Prolonged exposure to pH levels below 5.5 could lead to enamel erosion, which is irreversible and can pave the way for cavities. The graph starkly illustrates that among the sweeteners, cane sugar is the most hazardous for oral health, suggesting that its consumption should be moderated, if not avoided, to preserve dental integrity.


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Model Answer 3 (Band 9)

The line graph elucidates the dynamic of oral acidity levels following the ingestion of sugary edibles, showcasing the direct effect of sugar consumption on dental health by depicting the changing pH levels in the mouth.


In the overview, it's evident that all three sweet substances - fruit sugar, cane sugar, and honey - trigger a swift decrease in pH levels immediately after consumption. This decrease plunges the oral environment into acidity levels at which enamel demineralization and tooth decay become probable. The graph shows a distinct variance in the duration and intensity of acidity each sweetener causes, with cane sugar leading to the longest and most intense acidic reaction.


Delving into specifics, cane sugar's impact is immediate and severe, with the pH level descending to a low of 3.5 within five minutes and remaining below the critical threshold of 5.5 pH for over half an hour. Fruit sugar, while less aggressive, still significantly lowers the pH to around 4, maintaining acidic conditions unfavorable to dental health for roughly 20 minutes. Honey shows the least detrimental effect, with a pH drop to just below 5 and a return to safer levels in approximately 13 minutes.


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