Chewing gum can be considered a treat. However, many oral health benefits are added to it, making it an option if you want to improve your oral care. In this article will explain why chewing can improve your oral health and what to look for in one.
Why is Chewing Gum Good?
First, they have anti-cariogenic properties. As a result, chewing gum after eating acts as a support to the brushing and flossing in their function of preserving your teeth free of cavities. However, not all chewing gums are good for your oral health. Moreover, sugary gums cause the contrary effect and might induce caries production. Only gums labeled as “sugar-free” or with less than 0,5 grams of sugar per serving will give you teeth and gums protection.
Sugar-Free and Xylitol
These types of gums replace sucrose with high-intensity sweeteners or sugar alcohol such as xylitol. Normally, bacteria metabolize fermentable carbohydrates left behind from the food we eat and turn them into acid, attacking the teeth and producing cavities. However, the sweeteners present in sugar-free gums metabolize at a slower rate, decreasing the acid production while chewing gum.
Furthermore, studies have proven that xylitol helps prevent caries-producing bacteria from sticking to the teeth.
Increased Saliva Production
Saliva acts as a natural defense system against caries. When we eat, the pH level in our mouth lowers and turns acid. However, saliva regulates pH and prevents it from lowering too much. Chewing gum stimulates the flow of saliva, especially flavored gums. Stimulated saliva got a higher concentration of proteins and calcium, which adds to the surface of the teeth and acts as a protective barrier against the acids.
Moreover, stimulating the salivary flow helps remove the fermentable carbohydrates before bacteria manage to metabolize them to produce acid.
Although chewing gum can help you prevent caries, there are certain things to consider:
Gums and braces: Gums can get stuck to your braces and be difficult to clean. Leaving it there will affect your oral health. Therefore, it is advised not to do it while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Toothbrush and floss: It is vital to understand that chewing gum can’t replace brushing and flossing.
TMJ and muscles: Chewing gum for prolonged periods can hurt your TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) and make your biting muscles sore. Thereby, it is advised to chew gum for no longer than 20 minutes.
Chewing gum is an excellent way to maintain your oral health while having a treat. As long as the chewing time is not excessive and the gum is sugar-free, you will be helping your teeth to stay free of cavities. If you’re looking for the best treatment option, our emergency dentist, in Gilbert AZ, will make sure to deliver the high-quality service you deserve. If you are looking for an expert dentist near Gilbert AZ, you can visit our office, Classic Dental Care Gilbert, where Dr. Zia will treat you with the care you deserve.