Dental Tips Blog

Sep
12

Chewing Gum for Oral Health

Mention chewing gum and it may conjure childhood memories of blowing giant pink bubbles and having them pop in your face. Chewing gum, bubble or otherwise, was a treat, one heartily enjoyed, but very bad for the teeth because of all that sugar.

Chewing gum is one of the most ancient confections. It was used by the Mayans and other cultures, who obtained their gum from tree sap. In World War II, gum became extraordinarily popular among U.S. soldiers, who introduced it to the world by trading it on the battlefield.

Its popularity would have wiped out tree populations worldwide had it not been for the introduction of synthetics in chewing gum. To this day, the synthetic base is the predominant form. But oral health concerns have changed the market, so that now sugarless gums are the gums of choice.

Many of those sugarless gums even get the American Dental Association’s famous Seal of Approval. These gums tend to have one or more of the following benefits for oral health:

  • They help increase the flow of saliva following meals, which helps neutralize the acids in the mouth. This is especially good during the day, when you might not have access to a toothbrush.
  • Gum can help re-mineralize the teeth, which helps rebuild protective enamel.
  • Chewing gum may help eliminate gingivitis
  • Finally, gum can help reduce plaque.

If you’re concerned about your dental health, it’s a good idea to look on the store shelves for gum with the ADA’s approval. Remember, the seal doesn’t endorse the product, it just means that the ADA believes the product does what it says it will do.  Your Baton Rouge dentist can provide more information about the benefits of sugarless gum.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care

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