Many people chew gum out of boredom, as a response to a craving or to support with freshening their breath. With so many options available, the chances are that your favourite gum contains sugar or other additives. There may be some benefits associated with chewing sugar-free gum, provided you choose the better option! Chewing gum can stimulate saliva flow – helping to remove food debris, support remineralization, and neutralize the acidity in your mouth. With that being said, if you have any concerns with cavities, sensitivity or jaw and muscle discomfort, chewing gum may do more harm than good. The flavour/sweeteners may cause sensitivity and the repetitive motion may cause discomfort with your jaw and the muscles involved with moving it.
Here are options to reach for when considering a fresh, chewing gum option:
- Xylitol Gum or Mints
Dental studies show that Xylitol, a natural sugar, helps prevent cavities. While other sugars cause cavities, Xylitol does the opposite. It is a unique sweetener that reduces cavity-causing bacteria by stimulating the saliva and supporting patients with dry mouth. Xylitol gum, which is also available in a mint lozenge, leaves you with fresh breath provided the instructions for use are followed.
- Sugarless Gum
Sugarless gum can be good for cavity prevention. As you chew, your stimulated to produce more saliva that clears food remnants. Saliva also raises the Ph levels inside the mouth and counters acidity. Chewing sugarless gum helps remove stubborn food particles that remain on your teeth but prolonged chewing of sugarless gum can actually begin to cause cavities as bacteria in the mouth learn to break sugarless gum down differently.
Make Healthy Choices
Next time you are out and about looking for a fresh breath smile, keep these options in mind and enjoy in moderation for improved oral health!
We Are Waiting to Help You
At Sunrise Center Dental in Huntsville, we’re here to help you with professional dental care and oral health advice. Drs. John & Sharon Koncan, along with our professional dental team, look forward to assisting new and existing patients. Call us at 705-789-2369 or fill in our contact form.