People have been chewing gum for centuries, but not all chewing gums are created equal. It may be sold with candy on the shelves and sugary chewing gum, but not all gum is harmful to teeth! In fact, some chewing gums have real benefits for your oral health. Learn more about the benefits that chewing gum can provide to your oral health.
Is Chewing Gum Good for Your Teeth?
According to the Oral Health Foundation, chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production, which helps clear away food, rinse away bacteria, strengthen teeth, and reduce acid in your mouth that weakens tooth enamel. Some particular gum types can have multiple benefits:
- Prevent cavities
- Strengthen enamel
- Increases saliva flow
Chewing gum can be effective at preventing cavities if it contains a natural sweetener called Xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that has been shown to reduce the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in plaque, according to a 2017 review of multiple studies. Xylitol also helps neutralize the acids made by bacteria, keeping tooth enamel strong, another important benefit in the fight against tooth decay.
Some chewing gum options have added a substance called casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP). CPP-ACP, also known as Recaldent, has been shown to remineralize or slow down tooth decay. People who are allergic to milk should not use products that contain CPP-ACP.
When you decide to buy gum at the grocery checkout, look for a sugarless gum that carries the package's ADA seal. The ADA seal tells you that the product is a safe and effective product for oral health.
There are many options for chewing gum, including sugary, sweet candy. But instead of reaching for an indulgent pack of gum that may damage your teeth, be sure to read the package and always select a sugar-free option with the ingredients that have been shown to fight plaque and tooth decay. Your teeth will thank you.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.