It might be surprising to you to hear your dentist recommending chewing gum, but research shows that chewing gum can be good for your teeth. From treating issues as mild as bad breath to ones as serious as tooth decay, chewing gum after meals provides a lot of benefits for your oral health and helps keep your teeth strong.
Sugarless Gum Only
It’s important to stress that the benefits that chewing gum provides for your teeth are only possible if the gum is sugarless. When you chew gum that contains sugar, bacteria uses that sugar to produce decay-causing acids. Look for gum that carries the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval!
Saliva is one of the best defenses for your teeth. It helps neutralize and wash away acids produced when bacteria in the mouth breaks down food. Without saliva, the acid can wear down tooth enamel, which can lead to decay. The act of chewing gum increases salivary flow, with studies showing that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals can help prevent tooth decay. More saliva can also mean more calcium and phosphate, which helps strengthen tooth enamel.
The sugar replacement called Xylitol makes your sugarless gum chewing even more effective. Studies show that this naturally occurring sweetener can reduce the amount of bacteria in your amount that causes cavities.
Fights Dry Mouth & Bad Breath
Another result of a lack of saliva is dry mouth and bad breath. When you chew sugarless gum, your mouth produces more saliva and combats the symptoms of dry mouth and bad breath, which could lead to other, more serious oral health issues.
Remember, chewing gum does not replace good oral habits like brushing, flossing, and coming in for regular cleanings. At Ruby Canyon Dental, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best information and care. Make an appointment with us today!