It’s a well-known fact that sugar is bad for your teeth and it’s the major ingredient in all our favorite candies and chewing gum. However, sugar-free chewing gum is actually one of the only dentist-approved choices in the candy aisle. In addition to being a good way to refresh your breath after a meal, chewing gum can actually help improve your oral health. Dr. Mark Sowell of Sensational Smiles in Plano, TX explains four ways chewing gum can improve your oral health.
1. Whitening Teeth
Tooth discoloration can be caused by many common habits that people engage in. Drinking coffee, smoking, or eating highly-pigmented foods can stain our teeth, causing many people to look into teeth whitening treatments at their dentist’s office. Additionally, our teeth may naturally become discolored as we age.
Although toothpaste and at-home whitening kits can whiten teeth, there are also whitening chewing gums available at your local drugstore, too. When chewed after meals, these products can stimulate saliva production to help wash away stain-causing food particles. They also prevent stains from forming in the first place by creating a protective coating on the teeth.
2. Increasing Saliva Flow
Saliva is vital to the overall health of your teeth because it helps wash away oral bacteria that destroy tooth enamel. It also helps maintain the correct pH balance in your mouth, while a dry mouth causes an imbalance in the mouth’s pH level. But how does chewing gum increase saliva production? When you chew gum muscles compress the salivary glands in the mouth, releasing saliva to keep the mouth moist. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production to help you have a clean, healthy mouth.
3. Combating Bad Breath
Everyone has had bad breath at one time or another, and there can be many causes. Sometimes it’s simply a result of an especially spicy or fragrant meal, but it may also be an indicator of oral health conditions such as dry mouth or gum disease. If you persistently have bad breath, you might want to see your dentist for a check-up.
To combat the occasional random case of bad breath, you might try the minty or fruity smells of sugar-free gum to temporarily mask bad breath. Chewing gum also stimulates saliva production which washes away the oral bacteria that cause bad breath.
4. Preventing Tooth Decay
In addition to keeping your mouth comfortable, a properly hydrated mouth helps wash away leftover food particles and tooth decay-causing oral bacteria. Saliva carries nutrients and chemicals like calcium and fluoride which strengthen tooth enamel. When paired with a regular dental hygiene regimen like daily brushing and flossing and regular dental check-up’s, chewing gum can help prevent tooth decay.
According to research, by chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating, people can reduce issues of tooth decay. Therefore, although chewing gum doesn’t replace regular brushing and flossing, it can be a helpful addition to your oral care routine.
Comprehensive Dental Care in Plano, TX
Sugar free gum is beneficial to your oral health, but it can’t completely replace your routine at-home oral care and regular visits with your Dr. Sowell or your area dentist. If it has been a while since your last check-up, schedule an appointment with us online or call our office at (972) 382-6855.