Is Chewing Gum Good Or Bad For Your Teeth?

March 15, 2024
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Chewing gum is a delight in many cultures, enjoyed by children and adults alike for its unique flavors. However, its impact on oral health has been debated for many years. Some people believe that it is good for teeth and jaws, while others avoid its use due to the potential risks. Let’s delve into the benefits and risks of chewing gum to understand whether it is good or bad for your oral health.

Pros of Chewing Gum

Increased Saliva Production

When you chew gum, you’ll notice that your mouth produces more saliva in response to the gum’s ingredients. Increased saliva production helps neutralize acidic substances, maintain tooth enamel, and wash away excess food particles or toxins.

Low Risk of Dry Mouth

Xerostomia (dry mouth) is a fairly common issue that can increase the risk of tooth cavities and gum disease. Chewing gum can help reduce the symptoms of xerostomia by enhancing saliva production and keeping your mouth moist.

Fresher Breath

Many chewing gums contain natural ingredients such as mint, which can improve the quality of your breath and odor. Some chewing gums are specifically made to freshen breath and mask unpleasant odors.

Cons of Chewing Gum

Increased Risk of Cavities

Chewing gums normally contain sugar that can contribute to the formation of dental cavities. Frequent chewing action may also cause enamel erosion. The risk is higher among those who frequently chew sugar-containing gums on a daily basis.

High Sugar Content

Despite the availability of sugar-free gums, different brands of chewing gums still contain high sugar content. This can increase bacterial growth in the oral cavity, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Even sugar-free gums contain sweeteners that may harm your gut health if consumed in excess.

Risk of TMD Disorder

If you chew gum frequently, it can put excessive strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Prolonged use of chewing gums can increase the risk of TMJ disorder, which may cause pain, clicking sounds, and difficulty in chewing food.

Is Chewing Gum Bad For My Oral Health?

Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of chewing gum, you can decide whether this habit is good or bad for your oral health. Chewing gum can be beneficial if you have a dry mouth, reduced saliva production, or bad breath. However, it is important to keep it in moderation.

You can opt for sugar-free chewing gums but avoid their excessive use as well. You should also brush, floss, and clean your teeth properly to avoid the potential risk of cavities.

Final Words

Chewing gum can offer both benefits and side effects, depending on the ingredients and frequency of use. You can consult our dental specialists at Smile 360 Family Dentistry to get the best oral care recommendations. Call us at (909) 980-4878 for an appointment.

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