You may have already heard the benefits of chewing gum as it relates to your oral health. Dentists agree that gum can actually be a good thing for your teeth – but it must be sugar-free! Don’t miss that critical detail when choosing your choice of gum. If you select a gum that has natural sugars, you’re in for more harm than good.
Sugar-Free Gum and Decay Prevention
How does chewing gum actually protect your teeth from decay? It’s all about saliva production. You’ve probably noticed that when you chew gum, your mouth produces more spit. Your oral health depends on saliva to wash away food debris and sugars left behind as well as help neutralize the pH level in your mouth. Without sugars and food particles, your oral bacteria has less to feed on and won’t produce the harmful amounts of acids that it takes to damage your enamel or create tiny hold (cavities). Sugar-free gum is especially helpful in protecting those back chewing teeth (or molars). These teeth have deep grooves and pits that are known for harboring food and sugars.
Consider a Gum with Xylitol
Xylitol is a natural, plant-derived sweetener that has gained a lot of attention in terms of its dental benefits. It won’t break down like sugar and can prevent bacteria from sticking to your pearly whites. Xylitol can stop an acid attack on your teeth that would otherwise go on for thirty minutes or more after a meal. Furthermore, research also reveals that Xylitol may have the ability to help repair damaged tooth enamel!
While it may not always be convenient or possible to brush your teeth after you snack or eat a meal, having a stick of sugarless gum on hand is easy. Do your smile (and your breath) a favor and pop a piece of sugar-free or Xylitol gum in your mouth to prevent cavities. For more interesting dental health tips, call Gilreath Family Dentistry. It is our privilege to protect your smile.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,