March 24, 2022
Do you find yourself regularly chewing gum? With a sugary taste, most people find these treats to be especially sweet and exciting to have. However, did you know munching on them can also help you prevent cavities? Keep reading to discover the benefits of chewing sugar-free gum and how it can keep you from needing fillings in the near future!
The Benefits of Chewing Sugar-Free Gum
Since sugar contributes to developing cavities, it’s best to chew sugar-free gum to avoid the risk. Additionally, the gum itself can actually help remove food particles that are stuck between your teeth due its stickiness. Though this is no substitute for regularly brushing and flossing, it does help to reach the tight areas around your mouth while enjoying the taste.
One of the most important factors for naturally washing away bacteria in your mouth is your saliva flow. Chewing gum can actually promote increased saliva production, which can neutralize harmful acids as well as break down bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Doing so also maintains moisture in the mouth, preventing bacteria growth in the process.
Does Xylitol Harm Your Teeth?
Xylitol is a gum sweetener used to give sugar-free gum their familiar taste without the negative effects. Whereas traditional sugar contains proteins and carbohydrates—ingredients that fuel cavity-causing bacteria—xylitol does not. In fact, it actually reduces the amount of bacteria in your mouth, making it a much safer alternative for your smile!
Can Some Types of Gum Strengthen Teeth?
Some gum manufacturers are starting to add phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) in their items. This is also known as Recaldent, which has been found to remineralize tooth enamel, strengthening your teeth in the long run. It can also make them more resistant to tooth decay overall.
Should You Chew Gum Regularly?
As long as you chew sugar-free gum, you shouldn’t have to worry about increased risks of cavities. However, if you ever experience any jaw discomfort or TMD/TMJ, then you should probably take a break from chewing gum.
Of course, you should always practice a proper dental hygiene on top of enjoying your favorite sugar-free treats. Along with visiting your dentist at least twice a year, you can ensure that your teeth are safe from cavities for years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Shiloh Lindsey is a proud member of several prestigious groups including the Colorado and American Dental Associations, and the Larimer County Dental Society. She studied and earned her dental doctorate from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry—first in her class! With a passion for delivering outstanding and comprehensive dental care, she offers a multitude of treatments, including dental checkups, cleanings, and tooth fillings. If you’d like to make an appointment or wish to know more about the benefits of chewing gum, visit her website or call 970-221-3700.
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