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Is Chewing Gum Bad Or Good For Your Dental Health?

By Susan Braden

sugarfree gum-chewing may not create need for dental insurance plan

Will smacking on a piece of gum improve or maintain your overall oral health? It is true that a gum containing sugar is not the best for your teeth, but many question the impact of sugarless varieties on your oral health.

Does Chewing Gum Cause Cavities?

Chewing gum containing sugar does contribute to the creation of cavities. Sugar is a major element of plaque, which is a build-up on the surface of your teeth that can cause gum disease and create cavities. Also, because the sugary kind is so sticky, it allows the sugars to actually linger on your teeth, thus attracting more plaque.

Does Chewing Gum Help Clean Your Teeth

Chewing a sugarless gum can both clean the surfaces of your teeth and increase your flow of saliva. This increase in saliva is important because saliva contains antibodies that fight cavities from growing in your mouth. In other words, gum-chewing activates your natural body systems against tooth decay, which means a healthier mouth! An added benefit of gum-chewing is that it can lessen bad breath – your friends and family may thank you!

Other Benefits of Sugar-Free Gum

Gum that is made without any sugar is actually very helpful in maintaining your oral health. There are three ways in which the sugar-free kind is useful:

  1. Removing food particles Because of the sticky surface, sugar-free varieties can actually help to eliminate any captive food particles from between the teeth and help remove sugar that has built on the surface of the teeth.
  2. Preventing the buildup of plaque Though the sugary kind is also sticky, it adds to the build up of sugar rather than removing it. Because the sugarless kind assists in the removal of sugars and food particles from the surface of the teeth, it helps prevent the formation of plaque, which is a great benefit to general health.
  3. Freshening breath Sugar-free gums come in a variety of different flavors. A mint-flavor, such as spearmint or peppermint, can help to freshen your breath. Hard mints also freshen breath, but they are not as beneficial to overall general oral health as they do not remove food particles from your teeth.
  4. Reducing the desire to snack. According to the Biomedical Research Center, chewing sugar-free gum during your afternoon can significantly lower your unhealthy snack consumption! Gum-chewing significantly lowered participant's hunger levels and their cravings for sweets in the study.

Whether you are on the go or need a quick clean in between meals, sugar-free gum-chewing may be a step to stronger, healthier teeth when you do not have time to brush. It will clean your teeth while assisting in tooth decay prevention, and it will even get rid of that bad breath. You can use gum to control your unhealthy dental habits and sweet cravings – try it yourself and see the results!

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