We all know that candy, although delicious, can be a major cause of cavities. But what about gum? Is gum good or bad for your teeth? Chewing gum that contains sugar may increase your chances of developing cavities, but there is clinical evidence that certain types of gum can actually benefit your teeth! Here’s why Cottonwood Dental recommends chewing gum!
According to the American Dental Association, chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help prevent tooth decay. Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow and washes away food particles. Increased saliva flow also neutralizes acids released by bacteria.
There may be even more added benefits to chewing gum after meals. If the gum is sweetened with xylitol, it inhibits the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. Xylitol doesn’t allow bacteria to adhere to the surface of the tooth.
Some gum contains casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP), a substance known to strengthen tooth enamel. It is believed that CPP-ACP can remineralize your teeth and prevent tooth decay.
For most people, chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol after meals can be a great preventative measure to take against cavities and tooth decay, but if you experience any kind of a pain in your jaw, or have TMJ, you should talk to Dr. Giaquinto before chewing gum. Chewing gum, although beneficial, should never replace good oral hygiene!