Chewing gum is part of our lives, and that is a fact. We use it after eating strongly flavored foods to avoid uncomfortable bad breath or aftertaste. It can come in handy when we are not able to brush our teeth but still need to keep our mouths fresh.
And with that in mind, most of us don't think of the effects chewing gum has on our teeth, or even our health overall.
The difference is in the ingredients found in chewing gums. Some gums can have a harmful effect on our teeth, while others can even be beneficial.
How Can Chewing Gum Damage Our Teeth?
When the gum is sweetened with sugar, it can be harmful to the teeth. The bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugars found in the foods we ingest, including chewing gum. A lot of gums that are found on the market nowadays contain synthetic rubbers and the artificial sweeteners found in chewing gum can have adverse effects on our oral health.
Tooth decay can turn into gum disease, damaged enamel, erosion, and even jawbone issues.
Chewing sugary gum every once in a while, should not pose a big threat to your oral health if you have and keep proper oral hygiene.
Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and rinsing as well as seeing your dentist regularly for preventive care will help to keep your oral health in check.
Can Chewing Gum Have Any Benefits?
Depending on the ingredients it contains, chewing gum can also come with some benefits.
Chewing sugar-free gum can help increase saliva in the mouth, which in turn helps the mouth cleanse itself. The remaining foods and bacteria are cleaned by the saliva found in the mouth. Chewing gum can also reduce the acid found in the mouth that prevents it from attacking the tooth enamel.
Chewing gum that contains Xylitol (a natural sweetener) can also help prevent cavities. Xylitol has been proven to reduce acid found in the mouth, preventing the enamel from wearing out. This natural sweetener also reduces the number of bacteria found in the mouth that causes plaque.
What Type of Chewing Gum to Choose?
Xylitol chewing gum is a good option when it comes to a healthier version.
A simpler way to choose healthy chewing gum is to look for packages that have the ADA seal.
Keep in mind that chewing gum does not replace proper oral hygiene, but it can help in specific situations.
Keep Your Smile Healthy and Beautiful
At Patrick Stuckey, DDS, we are a dedicated team of professionals striving to provide excellent dental care in Ruston in a friendly, comfortable, and caring atmosphere. Our goal is to offer our patients optimum dental health through education and personalized treatment plans.