Some people can chew gum for hours a day. Does it have any effect on your oral health? The answer is yes. It can either hurt or help your mouth, depending on the gum and other personal aspects.
How Is Gum Good for You?
The physical act of chewing gum leads to an increase in saliva. This is good news since saliva is necessary for keeping your mouth healthy. If you chew gum after eating, the saliva flow can neutralize acids, reduce plaque, and wash away food particles. The increase in saliva could potentially prevent cavities. However, chewing gum doesn’t replace the need to brush and floss your teeth daily.
What Are the Downsides of Gum?
There are some instances where you want to avoid chewing gum. If you have braces, you’ll want to avoid gum since it’s sticky and can get stuck in your brackets. Got jaw pain? You might want to avoid chewing gum. It could strain your jaw and make the pain worse. Excessive gum chewing is sometimes the cause of TMJ/TMD problems. Most people will probably be fine with occasionally chewing gum, but making it a regular habit could cause jaw stress. You’ll also have to be careful about what kind of gum you choose. Sugary gum can cause cavities since it coats the teeth with sugar.
What Type of Gum Should You Choose?
You can only get health benefits if you choose sugar-free gum. You can look for the ADA seal of approval for reassurance that the gum is sugar-free and safe for your mouth. Sugar-free gum contains sweeteners like aspartame, sorbitol, or mannitol. None of them have shown that they could cause cavities since saliva can’t break the ingredients down.
Family Dentistry in Flower Mound, TX
Another important aspect of keeping your teeth healthy is visiting your dentist every six months. A biannual dental exam and professional cleaning will keep your mouth bright and healthy. Please give us a call to schedule an appointment.