Does Chewing Gum Really Prevent Cavities?
Commercials, magazine advertisements, and even posters in your dentist’s office promote the benefits of chewing sugar free gum, but it is really beneficial? Well, the benefits of chewing gum should not convince anyone to start chewing gum if s/he does not already – but, for those gum-chewers who are addicted to the habit, chewing the right type of gum has its advantages.
Chewing gum is known to produce an increase in saliva production. Saliva is a naturally occurring process that helps keep the mouth moist and helps to wash away bacteria and food particles. Every time you eat, small food particles and sugars are trapped between the teeth. The back molars are also prominent places for particles to become trapped because of their rough surfaces with deep grooves and pits. Chewing gum promotes an extra amount of saliva that is beneficial in washing way excessive bacteria and particles from the mouth after eating and drinking. However, choosing the appropriate type of gum is essential.
When choosing chewing gum as a means of preventing cavities, it is necessary to choose sugar free gum. Chewing gum with a heavy sugar content only adds sugars to the mouth. The bacteria within the mouth are most attracted to sugar, and they will congregate around these particles in huge numbers. As bacteria work to break down sugars and other particles inside the mouth, they begin to produce acids. It is these acids that eat holes in the tooth enamel (known as cavities) and produce infection to the gum line (known as gum disease). You do not want to promote cavities; therefore, choosing sugar free gum will not add the dangers of added sugar to the mouth.
Along with the benefit of decreasing the amount of sugar in the mouth, chewing gum is also very sticky. This sticky factor can pull particles out of the grooves of the molars, and these particles are extracted from the mouth when the gum is spat out.
At Green Dental of Alexandria, we are always interested in helping patients find more natural methods of achieving optimal oral health. We can recommend chewing gum for those who enjoy this habit. Call our practice today.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria
Green Dental of Alexandria – Alexandria Dentist
1725 Duke St, Suite GR03
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 549-1725