Chewing gum has been around for millennia. Did you know Ancient Egyptians chewed a type of gum from tree resin? Not only do we love chewing gum, but sugar-free gum offers multiple benefits to your oral health. Read on to learn more about the five benefits of chewing gum, including one or two that may surprise you.
5 Benefits Of Chewing Gum
Bad breath is embarrassing, but it can happen to anyone. As you have probably figured out, strong-smelling foods like garlic, onions, and spices can lead to foul odor. However, bad breath can be a symptom of more serious oral health conditions like gum disease or dry mouth. Flavored chewing gums can mask bad breath quickly.
According to an experiment in the Journal of Oral Science, participants who chewed gum with the sugar-free sweetener xylitol had less oral bacteria in their mouth shortly after chewing. The American Dental Association (ADA) says that people can reduce their tooth decay risk by chewing sugar-free gum right after eating.
Keep in mind that gum isn't a substitute for regular brushing and cleaning between your teeth with floss, water flossers, interdental cleaners, and other products. Proper oral hygiene helps prevent plaque, gingivitis, tartar, cavities, and bad breath. However, chewing sugar-free gum after dinner can help eliminate bad breath until you make it to your toothbrush.
Another significant benefit of chewing gum is that it can relieve the discomfort of dry mouth. Saliva does a lot of good for your mouth, and chewing gum helps promote saliva flow. People with dry mouth may experience discomfort eating, swallowing, or speaking. When you chew, your jaw muscles push on your salivary glands, releasing saliva. So, by chewing gum regularly, you can help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth.
You may be asking: does chewing gum whiten teeth? Many habits can lead to discoloration on teeth surfaces, including drinking coffee and smoking. Many products are available to help remove these surface stains, including toothpaste and at-home whitening kits.
There are several whitening chewing gums available in stores. These products can be chewed after meals and help wash away food particles that could cause stains by stimulating salivary flow. Further, teeth whitening treatments have been known to increase teeth sensitivity, and chewing gum may help with that too!
Chewing gum can relieve the stress of daily life too. According to a Journal of Clinical and Translational Research study, participants who chewed gum regularly over a more extended period reported feeling less stressed than participants who didn't chew gum.
Chewing sugar-free gum can help battle bad breath and tooth decay, relieve dry mouth symptoms, relieve stress, and there are so many flavor options! Remember, chewing gum shouldn't replace cleaning your teeth, but it certainly can be a healthy treat after a meal.
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.