There is nothing quite like chewing gum. From when you are a kid and you first learn to blow bubbles to becoming an adult and using gum as a quick way to freshen your breath, there is just something about this action that is delightful. When it comes to your dental health, the type of gum that you are chewing will make a big difference in whether it is helpful to your teeth or causing harm. Choosing a sugar-free gum has benefits.
Can Sugar-Free Gum Prevent Cavities?
Chewing gum that contains sugar can actually increase your risk of developing cavities. However, there is a bit of clinical evidence that supports the fact that chewing sugar-free gum can actually help prevent cavities. Additionally, if the sugar-free gum is sweetened with xylitol, it can have even more benefits.
Chewing sugar-free gum after snacks and meals can help to rinse and neutralize acids that come from the bacteria in plaque. These bacteria are harmful to the enamel of the teeth. The act of chewing along with the flavor from artificial sweeteners from the gum will stimulate saliva flow by ten times. This increase in the flow of saliva will neutralize the acids found in your mouth. This action will help to keep your teeth clean.
Xylitol Reduces Bacteria
If you are going to chew gum, choose a sugar-free gum that uses xylitol as a sweetening agent. Xylitol helps to inhibit the growth of streptococcus mutants. These are bacteria that can cause cavities. When xylitol is present, the bacteria cannot adhere to the teeth. This will stunt the process of cavities. When xylitol is used for a period of time, the bacteria found in the mouth will change and that means that there are fewer decay-causing bacteria found on the surfaces of the teeth.
If you suffer from bad breath, chances are you turn to mint or gum to help. Sugarless gum can help to fend off cavities according to the American Dental Association. Reports have shown that chewing a piece of gum for at least twenty minutes after eating helps to prevent tooth decay. It comes from an increase in saliva production. Saliva will help to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, which in turn helps prevent cavities from forming.
Toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride are the best products for strengthening your teeth. Sugar-free gum can have the same effects. When you chew gum after you eat, it reduces the acids that are left on your teeth. The gum will also help to prevent the erosion of enamel as it supplies the teeth with minerals. If you cannot brush your teeth or use mouthwash after you eat a meal, chewing a piece of sugar-free gum is the next best thing to help keep your enamel strong.
Reduce Tooth Sensitivity
If you need another reason to consider chewing sugar-free gum and you have sensitive teeth, the gum can help reduce this sensitivity. One study done by the British Dental Journal found that patients who chewed sugar-free gum after their teeth whitening had less tooth sensitivity than those who did not chew gum. The increase in the flow of saliva from chewing gum is the likely reason for the decline of sensitivity.
There are many benefits to chewing sugar-free gum. This type of gum can help to reduce the risk of cavities. The cleaning of your teeth and freshening of your breath after a meal are two of the main benefits of choosing to chew sugar-free gum. However, it is important to note that there are some instances where it is not recommended that you chew gum. If you have any type of pain in your jaw or you suffer from a temporomandibular disorder, chewing gum can make these symptoms much worse. You should discuss your symptoms with your dentist to determine the best course of action for treatment of these issues.
Most people will find that chewing sugarless gum, especially the kind that uses xylitol as a sweetener can provide a preventative measure against cavities and other issues with your teeth. As it is not always possible to floss or brush your teeth right after you eat, it is always an option to pop a piece of sugarless gum in your mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum should never be used as an alternative to other good oral hygiene habits.
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