Sugar-free chewing gum is one of the only dentist-approved choices in the candy aisle. In addition to refreshing the mouth after a flavorful meal, chewing gum can actually help improve your oral health. Dr. Pamela Cain of Today’s Dentistry, LLC in Knoxville, TN explains four ways chewing gum can improve your oral health.
1. Increasing Saliva Flow
Saliva is important to your overall mouth health because it helps wash away oral bacteria that destroy tooth enamel. Saliva keeps the mouth at the correct pH, and a dry mouth causes an imbalance in the mouth’s pH level. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which will continue to remove oral bacteria and leftover food particles.
How does chewing gum increase saliva, though? When you chew, muscles compress the salivary glands in the mouth, which release saliva to keep the mouth moist. Increasing saliva production by chewing gum after eating will help keep the mouth clean.
2. Whitening Teeth
Many common habits can lead to tooth discoloration, and teeth may naturally become discolored as we age. Drinking coffee, smoking, or eating highly-pigmented foods can stain the teeth, making many people seek teeth whitening treatments.
While toothpaste and at-home whitening kits can whiten teeth, there are whitening chewing gums available, too. When chewed after meals, whitening gum helps wash away stain-causing food particles by stimulating saliva production. It also coats the teeth to prevent stains in the first place.
3. Combating Bad Breath
Everyone experiences bad breath, and there are many causes. Sometimes it’s simply a result of a fragrant meal, but it may also be a symptom of oral health conditions such as dry mouth or gum disease. If you have persistent bad breath, you might want to see your dentist.
For the occasional bad breath day, you might turn to the minty or fruity smells of sugar-free gum to temporarily mask bad breath. Chewing gum also stimulates saliva production which removes odor-causing oral bacteria.
4. Preventing Tooth Decay
In addition to keeping your mouth comfortable, saliva helps wash away leftover food particles and tooth decay-causing oral bacteria. Saliva carries nutrients and chemicals like calcium and fluoride which help strengthen tooth enamel. Since chewing gum increases saliva production, it helps prevent tooth decay when paired with a healthy oral hygiene regimen.
According to studies, people can reduce tooth decay just by chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating. While chewing gum doesn’t replace regular brushing and flossing, consider the benefits of chewing gum as a helpful addition to your oral care routine.
Comprehensive Dental Care in Knoxville, TN
Sugar free gum offers several benefits to your oral health, but it can’t completely replace your at-home oral health care routine and regular visits with your dentist. If it has been a while since your last visit, schedule an appointment with us online or call our office at (865) 219-3622.