Many people believe that chewing gum is bad for your teeth, but is this really true? While it is true that chewing gum can lead to cavities if it is not sugar-free, there are also some benefits to chewing gum.
In this article, we explore some of the good and bad things about chewing gum from a perspective of oral health.
Is it bad for your oral health to chew gum?
Well, it isn’t that straightforward of an answer, because it depends on several factors. For instance, sugar is one of the biggest enemies in the fight against bacteria and cavities in your mouth. Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth. As a byproduct, they create acids that erode your enamel.
So, it is wise to avoid sugary gum as it is not good for your teeth.
However, as long as it is sugar-free, the answer is pretty emphatically, no. It is not bad for your teeth.
In fact, chewing sugar-free gum has many great benefits.
What are the benefits of chewing sugar-free gum?
There is a good list of benefits from chewing sugar-free gum. These factors can help to decrease your risk for cavities.
Increased saliva production
Additionally, when you chew gum, it helps to stimulate saliva production. This is great because saliva is essential for washing away food particles and bacteria that can cause cavities.
Sugar-free gum often uses a variety of different sweeteners. However, one common sweetener is xylitol. Xylitol is great for your teeth because bacteria cannot digest it. Therefore, the bacteria levels in your mouth are decreased because of that as well.
Xylitol also has fewer calories than sugar, so you don’t have to feel very guilty for giving in to a piece of gum sweetened with it.
There are other health benefits to chewing sugar-free gum as well. They include:
- Slight increase in calorie burning: Up to 11 calories per hour are burned from this activity.
- Increased concentration: Chewing gum helps you to concentrate and focus on a task better.
- Alertness: It can help to increase your alertness, which is great if you are working late or driving on a long trip.
- Fights nausea: If you are carsick or seasick, it might help to reduce your symptoms.
- Alternative to snacking on other foods: This can be a good way to satisfy your craving or desire to chew on something without
Many gum manufacturers have an ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval on the label. If you see that label you can feel confident that you are chewing gum that is approved by dentists.
Chewing gum is a good supplemental habit to oral health
While it can be beneficial to your oral health, it is important that you use it to supplement, not replace a good oral health routine. A good routine might be to chew sugar-free gum immediately after a meal, then brush and floss.
Doing all three of these things together is a great way to reduce your risk for cavities.
So there you have it – it isn’t as bad as some people may have you believe. In fact, it can be a positive habit in your life and improve your overall health if you stay away from the sugary kind!