Chewing gum after meals not only gives you fresh breath, it also has many oral health benefits. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), chewing sugar-free gum carrying can prevent your teeth from experiencing various dental problems. That may sound odd, but it’s true! Here’s how chewing sugar-free gum can help!
Increases Production of Saliva
The physical act of chewing gum increase the production of saliva in your mouth, which is helpful in many ways:
- Prevents Cavities – Saliva has a washing effect on teeth by removing food debris and plaque, thereby preventing demineralization of enamel and formation of teeth cavities.
- Neutralization of Acids – Saliva has a buffering action; it neutralizes the acidic components in the food and maintains an optimal pH in your mouth. Because of this, erosion of dental enamel is minimized.
- Makes your Teeth Stronger – Saliva also contains phosphate and calcium, which are the building blocks of bones and teeth. Therefore, increased salivary flow can make your teeth stronger and more resistant to the formation of cavities.
Remineralization of Dental Enamel
Did you know that many sugar-free chewing gums also contains fluoride, in addition to other minerals, which are essential for your teeth? Fluoride has been shown to reverse the effect of demineralization of enamel by replenishing the supply of minerals.
Sugar-free chewing gums are often sweetened with xylitol, a natural sweetener which is obtained from fibrous parts of various trees. According to the American Dental Association, xylitol prevents cavities by killing harmful bacteria that attach to teeth and demineralize the enamel. Secondly, it is not broken down like natural sugar. Therefore, it does not create an acidic environment which is ideal for the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.
Reduces Tooth Sensitivity
Fluoride and other minerals present in sugar-free gums are also helpful in preventing or even reversing sensitivity of teeth. According to a research published in the British Dental Journal, sugar-free gums were found beneficial in reducing tooth sensitivity in individuals who had undergone a teeth whitening procedure.
Helps in Digestion
Here is another reason for you to start chewing sugar-free gum. Chewing gum is also beneficial in improving your overall health. Enjoying a chewing gum after meals promote the release of gastric juices, which helps in optimal digestion of food.
Chewing a sugar-free gum has multiple benefits. However, it must be remembered that not all types of sugar-free gums are safe for your teeth. In some gums, artificial sweeteners are added which are responsible for increasing the acidity of the oral cavity, and making your teeth vulnerable to demineralization. Therefore, we recommend using a chewing gum that carries the seal of the American Dental Association (ADA) and that is sweetened with xylitol.
If you are dealing with teeth cavities or sensitive teeth, give us a call today to schedule an exam and cleaning: (850) 968-2106.