Chewing gum has both negative and positive connotations when we hear about it. You might remember what happened to Violet Beauregarde in Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Maybe you’ve been told it’s gross or a bad habit. But you may have also heard it helps clean your teeth.
The truth is gum can be positive, but it depends on the type of gum you are chewing.
Sugar-Free Gum Benefits
Sugar-free gums sweetened with xylitol and are less harmful to your teeth than regular gum, which is flavored with large amounts of sugar. Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum helps rinse off acid from the bacteria found in plaque. Another benefit of chewing gum is that it stimulates more saliva flow, causing it to balance the acids in your mouth. Saliva not only washes away unwanted food particles but also helps you keep your teeth clean.
The xylitol found in sugar-free gum hinders the growth of harmful bacteria, known as Streptococcus mutants, which causes tooth decay. The bacteria lose the ability to stick to the teeth thus restricting the cavity from developing any further. After chewing sugar-free gums for a long period of time, oral bacteria become less and change over the course.
What are the risks?
The risks of consuming the chemicals found in sugar-free gums are minimal. In fact, there are more health benefits associated with chewing gum than risks. Chewers who chew on sugar-free gum can benefit from fewer cavities, better breath, and less gingivitis. Consequently, people who chew gum with sugar have a higher risk of developing tooth decay. But watch out: While chewing sugar-free gum has benefits to it, excessive chewing can lead to a painful jaw, neck, and face.
Above all, gum should not replace your healthy habits of brushing and flossing every day. Sugar-free gums cannot become a substitution for your oral routine. If you experience any level of jaw pain, please refrain from chewing gum and contact your dentist here at Dental Care Center.