Oral Health | Is Chewing Gum Detrimental to My Health?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Have you ever been told that chewing gum is bad for your oral health? If so, you’ve been told wrong (kind of). 

Yes, that’s right, chewing gum is not bad for your oral health.

Chewing gum has been around since the 1800’s, when settlers in New England picked up the practice from the American Indians. For years and years, chewing gum has been criticized by parents, teachers, and administrators. However, chewing gum is encouraged by your dentist…as long as it is sugarless chewing gum.

 Oral Health

Why does your dentist encourage sugarless chewing gum? Because chewing sugarless gum can actually decrease your chances of developing cavities. When you chew gum, your salivary glands are stimulated and start to produce more saliva. Saliva, in turn, helps in the process of digestion, and helps to neutralize the acids that are present in your mouth.

Unfortunately, most food that we eat contains sugar. When this sugar enters our mouth, it causes an increase of lactic acid. Unfortunately, these acids will wear away your tooth enamel if you do not neutralize them. If you chew gum after a meal, it has been proven to defend your mouth against tooth decay, and minimize the acids.

When looking at gum to purchase, you should always look for the ingredient Xylitol. Xylitol actually works as an anti-sugar in your mouth.   

If you chew gum that contains sugar, it will have the exact opposite effect of sugarless chewing gum. Chewing on gum that contains sugar will increase the amount of cavities you receive, increase the amount of sugar in your mouth, and feed the bacteria on your teeth and throughout your mouth. 

If you suffer from frequent headaches or TMJ, it may be due to stress to your jaw joints. Unfortunately, chewing gum may cause increased stress on your jaw and cause your symptoms to flare up.

Call Us Today to Schedule An Appointment

If you suffer from TMJ or headaches, or just need a cleaning, your dentist may be able to help you. If you live in the Delaware, OH area, Dr. Lechner is always welcoming new patients. Feel free to contact us today.

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