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Dentist Lake Worth | Is Chewing Gum Really That Bad?

If you love chewing gum, then you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American chews 1.8 pounds of chewing gum every year. While you may think gum as a type of candy, it’s the type of gum you chew that makes a difference in whether it’s good or bad for your teeth. Some types of gum are actually helpful and good for your teeth. To be sure about what type of gum is good for you, ask your dentist Lake Worth for any sugar-free varieties he/she can recommend.

Benefits of Chewing Gum

Chewing gum containing sugar may actually increase your chances of developing cavities, but sugar-free gum demonstrates just the opposite according to clinical studies. Here’s how you can benefit from sugar-free gum:

Increasing Saliva Flow

People with dry mouth are more prone to cavities and tooth decay. Dry mouth can occur as a side-effect of some medications such as muscle relaxants and anti-histamine. Your doctor may recommend various ways to manage dry mouth, including chewing gum. When you chew, your muscles compress salivary glands, which helps release saliva. Chewing is the most effective way to increase saliva flow.

Sugar-Free Gum Helps to Clean Teeth

Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum after snacks and meals can help neutralize and rinse-off the acids released by the bacteria in plaque. The act of chewing and the flavor of artificial sweeteners in the gum stimulate ten times the normal rate of saliva flow.

Xylitol Reduces Decay-Causing Bacteria

Xylitol in sugar-free gum has the added benefit of inhibiting the growth of one of the oral bacteria that cause cavities called Streptococcus Mutans. The presence of Xylitol loses the bacteria’s ability to adhere to the tooth, thus stunting the cavity-causing process.

Chewing Gum Precautions

While chewing sugar-free gum can be beneficial for you in most instances, there are some cases in which chewing gum is not recommended. If you’re experiencing ant type of jaw pain or TMJ/TMD symptoms, you should refrain from chewing gum and talk to your dentist about other options available to you.

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Want to Learn More?

If you have questions about the benefits of chewing gum, reach out to our dentist Lake Worth at Ferber Dental Group today for more information and recommendations.