Dental Tips Blog


Chewing Gum: The Good and The Bad

That flavor-rush from a tasty piece of gum can fire up the taste buds and help you perk up enough to get through the rest of your day. Gum is also a quick way to freshen up your breath.

But are you aware of all the ways gums affects your oral health?

Why Choose to Chew

Juicy and sweet flavors jumpstart your saliva glands. This is a good thing because your mouth needs saliva to cleanse itself. It helps to neutralize the acid in bacteria and food you eat, not to mention washes away germs and debris.

Dry mouth is a recipe for dental disaster. So popping a piece of gum is a great way to promote a healthy flow of fluids around your teeth.

Speaking of teeth, your munchers need a good exercise. Your teeth are supported by ligaments that let them spring around in their sockets and cushion the shock of chewing. When it comes to these ligaments, if you don’t use them, you lose them.

Gum’s rubbery texture is also good for nabbing lunchtime leftovers on occasions that you forget your toothbrush.

When Not to Chew

Chewing gum that contains sugar is a bad idea. It feeds cavity-causing, acid-producing bacteria with the carbs they need to wreak havoc on your enamel which leads to tooth decay and the need for dental restorations like fillings or crowns. Reach for the sugar-free options if you want to have gum.

Be mindful that a constant chewing habit can turn into serious trouble for your TMJ. Some compulsive gum chewers have enormous cheek muscles that put a strain on their jaw. Make sure that gum is an occasional treat and not a constant part of your smile!

Remember to check with your dentist about healthy chewing gum use.

Posted on behalf of:
Ora Dentistry
2733 Elk Grove Blvd #180
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 975-1000


Is Gum Chewing Bad for Me?

Chewing gum sounds like a great idea if you want to chew on something sweet, yet you don’t want to eat anything at the moment.  Some people may perceive that chewing gum is a good alternative to eating sweets but is it harmful to chew gum on a frequent basis?   Here are some things to consider when it comes to chewing gum:

Artificial Sweeteners– Many types of gum are sugar-free, however, they contain artificial sweeteners like Aspartame.  Aspartame has been associated with brain tumors, cancer, birth defects and gaining weight.

Possible tooth Damage- Even though some types of gum are sugar-free, they still can contain some flavoring that is acidic, which can cause erosion to the teeth.  When you chew gum that does contain sugar, your teeth are exposed to a “sugar bath” and thus can make them more susceptible to cavities.

Potential TMD (TMJ disorder)- When you frequently chew gum over a period of time, you are overusing your chewing muscles, which can cause chronic pain.  The types of pain you may feel are pain in your jaw joint (TMJ), earaches, headaches and/or pain in your teeth.

Problems with Digestion- As you chew gum, you can also swallow extra air which can cause pain in your abdomen, bloating, and extra production of stomach acid (leading to heartburn) because your body is perceiving that it is getting more food when in reality it is not.

So, is chewing gum worth the risks?  Will it be detrimental to your oral health?  Given the above considerations, you can now make a more educated decision on whether you should chew gum or not.

Posted on behalf of:
Rolling Ridge Dentistry
7510 Ramble Way #101
Raleigh, NC 27616
(919) 809-7192

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….