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True or False: Chewing Gum is Good for Oral Health

April 29, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — crovatto @ 10:14 pm
someone putting gum in their mouth

When you think about ways to prevent cavities, there are probably quite a few things that come to mind—brushing teeth, flossing, things like that. While all of those are important, each of them takes time out of your day.

What if there was a way to improve your oral health on the go, and enjoy a nice treat while you do? If studies are to be believed, chewing sugarless gum can do just that! If you’re curious why that is, here’s some more information that may interest you.

Can Chewing Gum Fight Cavities?

First of all, it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t some old wives’ tale—there’s some very strong evidence that chewing sugarless gum can do a fair amount to prevent tooth decay.

One European study was conducted over the course of two years on children between third and fifth grade. The results were startling; when combined with good oral hygiene and fluoride toothpaste, kids who chewed sugarless gum were found to have 41.7% fewer cavities than those who did not.

How Can Chewing Gum Improve My Oral Health?

Initially, you may think that chewing gum’s benefits have to do with its ability to pick up food particles. There’s some truth to that, but its benefits go much deeper.

Chewing gum stimulates saliva in the mouth, which has many oral health benefits. Saliva cleans the mouth, breaking down food and carrying it away. It also stabilizes the mouth’s pH, neutralizing the acids that cause tooth decay. Finally, saliva has an important role in remineralizing the enamel, which strengthens the teeth in general.

Risks of Chewing Gum

That said, there are risks that come with chewing gum that you should be aware of. First, it’s important to note that these benefits extend only to sugarless gum—chewing gum with sugar in it is likely to make your tooth decay worse, not better.

Excessive gum chewing, like frequently chewing several pieces at once, can also cause a fair amount of jaw pain. That said, the European study mentioned earlier found that chewing as many as three pieces a day was sustainable.

When you pair it with a thorough dental routine, chewing gum can have strong positive effects on your oral health. Next time you’re checking out at the grocery store, why not pick some up? It could save you a toothache in the future.

About Our Practice

At Crovatto & Edwards Family Dentistry, we have fun spending time with our patients, and we hope that you’ll feel the same way! If you’re used to callous dentists who don’t care about their patients, we’re excited to show you that excellent dental care doesn’t have to come at the expense of an attentive chairside manner.

If you have any questions about taking care of your teeth day-to-day, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (904) 272-0800.

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