It may sound too good to be true and hard to believe, but chewing gum can have positive effects on the health of your mouth. Americans have been chewing gum for more than 100 years, yet most of them have not known that they were doing their mouth a favor. Of course, only those who chew sugar-free gum are reaping the benefits, so it is important to understand how the entire process works.
Your mouth is the residence of millions of bacteria on any given day. While that may sound like something from a horror movie, these naturally occurring bacteria mean to be helpful. After every snack, meal, or beverage other than water, tiny particles are left behind inside your mouth. The oral bacteria gather around these particles and work to break them down so that they do not rot inside your mouth. Sounds helpful, right? Well, these bacteria are only helpful for a short time because as they continue to work, they begin producing acids to make their achievements go by faster. All acids, including oral acids, are well-known for eating their way through anything in their path. Cavities are the result of acids eating holes in the tooth enamel.
How does chewing gum prevent cavities? Well, one of the most vital components of your mouth is saliva. This often overlooked component works to keep the mouth moist and to help wash away bacteria from the teeth. Chewing gum increases the amount of saliva that is produced inside the mouth, thus limiting the damage that the bacteria can cause. Chewing gum for twenty minutes after a meal, snack, or beverage will help to wash away particles and bacteria from the mouth before the bacteria can start their attack. Of course, it is vital that you chew sugar free gum! Gum that is laden with sugar only leaves more deposits inside the mouth, and these sugary deposits are the most attractive to oral bacteria. They will gather in huge quantities around the tiniest amount of sugar, creating a pool of acid in a single spot. Look for gum with the ingredient Xylitol, which is known to actually kill bacteria before it attaches to the teeth.
At Muccioli Dental, we want to partner with you in an effort to promote optimal oral health. Please contact us for a recommendation for a great sugar-free gum. And remember, chewing gum should never replace daily flossing and brushing. It is meant as a bonus to your oral health routine.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Randy Muccioli, Muccioli Dental
Muccioli Dental - Johns Creek Dentist
6300 Hospital Pkwy, Suite 275
Johns Creek, Georgia 30097
Phone: (678) 389-9955