Magazine ads, TV commercials, and pamphlets at the dentist all make the claim that chewing gum can help fight cavities, and you may be questioning these claims and wondering if you should pick up the habit. While studies have proven that chewing gum can, in fact, help fight cavities, it is essential that you choose the right kind of gum.
Chewing sugarless gum after a meal can help protect the mouth from the development of cavities. Chewing sugarless gum for twenty minutes after eating a meal helps to prevent the buildup of plaque on the teeth and prevent the onset of tooth decay. There are many options available in the sugarless gum category, with many flavors to choose from so that just about everyone can find a choice that they can enjoy.
Chewing gum increases the amount of saliva that flows inside the mouth. After eating, you are left with tiny particles of food, and this extra amount of saliva helps to wash them away. Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria that are chomping at the bit, literally, to break down these food particles; however, in the process of breaking down particles left behind from your last meal or snack, these bacteria begin producing acids to help them in their endeavors. These acids are what cause tooth erosion, cavities, and decay because they eat away at the layers of your teeth. By chewing gum, your mouth is actually preventing the need for the bacteria to produce acids because your over-production of saliva is doing the work for them.
It is never a good idea to chew sugar-laden gum. There is nothing more appealing to the bacteria inside your mouth than an over-abundance of sugar. If you are chewing gum that has a high sugar content, you are simply inviting the bacteria inside your mouth to thrive. Yes, your mouth will still produce extra saliva, but once you spit out your gum the sugars will remain – and the bacteria will go to town producing acids to break them down.
Dr. Wayne Suway wants all patients to have the healthiest mouth possible. Dr. Suway and his top-notch team of dental professionals can help you find a sugarless gum that will benefit your mouth and help to ward off tooth decay. Contact our practice today.
Posted on behalf of Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
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