The answer is yes, if you are chewing the right kind of gum. When it comes to chewing gum, it depends on the type of gum that makes a difference in whether it is harmful to your teeth. Chewing gum that contains sugar may increase your chances of developing cavities. Chewing sugar-free gum that is sweetened with xylitol actually has the opposite effect. Sugar-free gum can actually help clean your teeth.
Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum after drinks and meals can help clean the acids released by the bacteria in plaque. A combination of chewing and the flavors of the artificial sweeteners in gum stimulate the flow of saliva and remove particles that are stuck between your teeth. The minerals that are created from saliva help strengthen your tooth enamel, which can reduce the risk of cavities.
In some cases gum chewing can be bad for your teeth:
- If the gum contains sugar: Make sure to check the ingredients before you chew. Look for the sugar-free label before picking up a pack. Chewing sugary gum can increase the risk of cavities.
- If you have jaw pain: Aggressive gum chewing or lopsided chewing both increase the risk of developing TMJ disorders.
- If you have braces: We recommend avoiding chewing gum when you have braces. Any sticky substance could pull your brackets off or bend wires.
If any of the above pertains to you, keep in mind that chewing gum is not great for everyone. If you are looking to freshen your mouth, it is better to floss or brush your teeth. You can also use mouthwash to achieve fresh breath without chewing gum.
If you are overdue for your dental checkup, please call our front desk at call us today at 704-948-1111 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your next appointment and talk to one of our professionals to figure out the best solution for your individual oral care.