There are good and bad things being said about chewing gum and health, especially tooth health. There are two sides to every issue, and chewing gum is one of them, like many things. A lot depends on what type of gum you choose. People who chew gum with sugar in it are putting their teeth at risk of more cavities. The sugar stays on your teeth and gives bacteria a good place to thrive. The bacteria then turn to plaque and start eating away at the tooth surface. The gum wears away at the surface enamel until there is a cavity. It can also cause problems with your jaw. In these ways, chewing gum and health are not compatible.
However, there are some benefits to tooth health when you chew sugar-free gum. Your dentist at Lovett Dental Baytown can guide you through what you need to know.
You may not consider saliva as clean, but it actually helps clean your mouth and wash away things that can damage your teeth. Chewing gum and health are indirectly related because of this. Poor tooth health is often an indicator of health problems elsewhere in your body because the same bacteria that cause plaque also damage other organs, especially your heart.
Chewing sugar-free gum can help by increasing the amount of saliva you produce. This saliva washes away the debris that may be sitting between teeth. It cleans the bacteria that may be starting to grow. The increased saliva is also good at neutralizing the acid produced by many foods, not giving it a chance to attach to tooth enamel and cause erosion.
Xylitol and Cinnamon
While any sugar-free gum can be beneficial if chewed for approximately twenty minutes after eating, two things can make it even better.
Cinnamon has known antibacterial properties. This means that cinnamon gum can work to kill some of the bacteria that are lingering in your mouth and waiting to cause damage.
Xylitol is a type of artificial sweetener. It is different than other sweeteners. Xylitol actually kills a certain type of bacteria and makes it difficult for that bacteria to return. Over time, the bacteria won’t be able to survive long enough to adhere to the enamel surface of your teeth.
Moderation is the Key
Sugar-free chewing gum and health go together well, but chewing it is not something you use to replace regular brushing and flossing. If you don’t have the opportunity to brush, chewing gum for twenty minutes will reduce any bacteria on your teeth. If chewed all the time, however, it can cause problems with your jaw. It is recommended that you brush and floss at least two times a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush. This makes it easier to know you have targeted anything bad that may be lingering on or between your teeth. However, keeping some sugar-free gum handy in your purse or pocket can give you a little insurance when you are out and about and not able to brush.
Reach Out to Lovett Dental Baytown Today
Here at Lovett Dental Baytown, tooth health is our business. When you call 281-838-8400, we first set up an appointment for a cleaning and complete exam. This is where we get to know you and your teeth. We don’t find any questions too silly and will patiently answer any you have. We aim to make every dental visit as stress-free as possible, and our compassionate, friendly staff is ready to help you today. We offer a wide range of general dental services such as:
- Crowns and Bridges
- Fillings and Sealants
- Fluoride Treatments
- Teeth Cleaning
So reach out to us and see a brighter smile in your future.