Is Chewing Gum Harmful to Teeth?

Is Chewing Gum Harmful to my Teeth?

Growing up, a lot of us had parents who insisted that chewing gum was harmful to our teeth. In some cases this is true; however, recent studies have shown that sugar free gum can have positive effects on your dental health.

Think about plaque. Plaque is bacteria living in the mouth caused by various foods, such as those with sugars and starches. These bacteria will produce acids that will eventually destroy tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.

How does chewing sugarless gum help? Quite simply, the process of chewing gum increases the saliva production in your mouth, which in turn washes away food particles and neutralizes the effects of the acids formed by the plaque as the PH of the bacteria rises.

A European Union scientific study in May 2012 provided evidence of the following benefits of chewing sugar free gum:

- Maintenance of tooth mineralization
- Neutralization of plaque acids
- Reduction of dry mouth

They found that sugarless chewing gum with carbamide (hydrogen peroxide) neutralizes plaque better than gum without carbamide.

Ingredients such as Calcium, Vitamin C, and Xylitol can provide additional benefits.

Additional studies have shown that sugar-free gum sweetened with Xyitol inhibits the growth of a certain type of bacteria called Streptococcus, which causes cavities. Xyitol causes the bacteria to lose the ability to attach to the tooth. The type of bacteria in your mouth will change over a period of time with the frequent use of Xyitol.

While it has been scientifically proven that chewing sugarless gum provides many benefits to your oral health, it should never replace your daily routine of brushing and flossing. Together with flossing and brushing, the use of sugarless chewing gum should result in fewer cavities.

If you have other questions, please feel free to contact us! We are your dentist in Studio City, CA, and we care about our patients’ concerns!

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