Chewing gum has been used throughout the world for hundreds of years. Made from the earth centuries ago, people now have the safety to chew flavorful gum that actually promotes dental health. Yes, you read that correctly. Chewing gum can in fact fight the development of cavities inside the mouth. While this is true, it is important to know how this works and what type of gum you should be chewing.
Chewing gum promotes saliva production inside the mouth. A moist mouth is generally healthier than a dry mouth. Saliva works to wash away food and sugar particles from the teeth after eating and drinking. When the mouth is dry for long periods of time, these particles harden and become trapped in the mouth. This promotes a dangerous situation because of the natural bacteria that are constantly present within the mouth.
Bacteria live inside the mouth every day with the purpose of helping to break down those particles left behind after meals, snacks, and any beverage other than water. As these bacteria go to work to break down particles, they begin producing acids to assist them. It is these acids that cause the decay of teeth and holes in the tooth enamel, known as cavities. When the bacteria are not consistently washed away from the mouth through saliva production, they grow in number and begin producing extreme amounts of acid. This can wreak havoc on the mouth, causing cavities to develop in a very short amount of time. Chewing gum helps to protect the teeth by keeping them moist so that saliva does its job of washing bacteria away.
However, not all chewing gum is created equally. Some gum is laden with sugar, and chewing this type of gum will only invite cavity development into your mouth. That is why it is essential to choose sugar-free gum if you opt to indulge in this habit. Sugar-free gum is the best choice for fighting off cavities
At Peninsula Dentistry, we truly care about our patients’ entire oral health. If you would like more information regarding benefits of chewing gum and whether or not this habit will benefit you, or if you would like a recommendation of what brand of gum to choose, please contact our practice today. We are here to promote oral health in every possible way.