In general, chewing gum is good for dental health if you see the word xylitol in the ingredients. In the past chewing gum contained a lot more sugar than today. Xylitol is now used by gum manufacturers as a common sugar substitute, and it has many benefits. Unlike sugar, Xylitol cannot be metabolized by the typical acid-forming bacteria found in dental plaque, and bacteria cannot use xylitol as a nutrient. Therefore, when you chew gum you are no longer bathing your teeth in bacteria catalysts. You get the same sweet blast of flavor without the enamel wearing acid.
Xylitol has another positive reaction in your mouth. When chewing it causes increased salivation, which also increases your teeth’s exposure to calcium and phosphorus. As a result, enamel is fortified by re-mineralization. Having more saliva in your mouth also helps break down food and carry harmful plaque away from your teeth and gums. The extra, sugar free saliva from chewing xylitol gum can have massive oral health benefits.
The texture of sugarless gum can also help to remove plaque and food particles from areas of the mouth that are difficult to reach. Usually sticky foods should be avoided, but the elasticity of gum makes it stick and release, making it a cleaner not a polluter. It can even be effective on the deep grooves on your back teeth and between some tooth spaces. Places where saliva alone cannot do the job, gum can be a big help.
On top of all the great cleaning xylitol gum does it also freshens your breath. It is hard to find something that is good for you and tastes great. Todays “sugar free” gum comes in unlimited flavors. Enjoy your favorite and improve your oral health at the same time.
With all the positive aspects of chewing gum could there be any negative aspects or impacts on dental health? If you have TMJ dysfunction or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, (which is the hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull) than chewing gum can exacerbate the condition. And excessive chewing can cause soar jaw muscles.
In moderation, and within reason, you can chew your way (with “sugar free” gum) to better dental health.
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.