Chewing Gum? Ok, chew on this…
Is chewing gum good or bad for your teeth? The answer…it depends!
Here’s the good chewing gum news…
Chewing gum (sugarless gum) with the ingredient XYLITOL can help inhibit the growth of bacteria that causes tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath). In the presence of xylitol, certain cavity causing bacteria lose the ability to stick to the tooth surface, which means less chance of a cavity.
Chewing sugarless gum after a meal can stimulate saliva flow, which helps clear food adhering to teeth and gums. Saliva contains important elements that neutralize acids from food and plaque. Over time, these acids dissolve important minerals on the surfaces of teeth leading to decay. Stimulating saliva flow with gum chewing after meals can therefore help repair early tooth damage.
Here’s the bad news…
If you’re chewing gum that contains sugar, you can actually be increasing your chance of getting decay! Make sure you chew sugarless gum only to reap its benefits.
Excessive chewing can also lead to increased tooth (enamel) wear. Chewing gum can lead to excessive, nonfunctional chewing…meaning your mouth is working even though no food is being consumed. Since chewing is controlled by a myriad of muscles and a hinge joint (known as the Temporomandibular Joint) it can aggravate preexisting jaw disorders or fatigue the surrounding muscles.
So grab a piece of SUGARLESS gum…its a good measure to help prevent tooth decay when reaching for your toothbrush or floss is not practical.
To Good Health!