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


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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