Chewing gum is one of America’s most favorite past times. Millions of people across the country chew gum for a variety of purposes, from maintaining good breath to calming anxiety, cleaning teeth, and beyond. But is chewing good actually good for your teeth, or should you try to limit the amount of gum that you chew?
Chewing gum was invented centuries ago when people from Greece started to chew the sap from the mastic tree. Later on, settlers in America also chewed sap from the spruce tree. According to the ADA, sugar-free chewing gum can actually be healthy for your teeth, and the ADA has offered a seal to help consumers know which chewing gum is best.
The ADA claims, “Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay.” Sugar-free chewing gum stimulates the creation of extra saliva, which helps our mouths break down more food, getting rid of the acid-producing bacteria that destroys our enamel and teeth. Saliva also delivers important calcium and phosphorus to our teeth, which helps to strengthen our enamel. Furthermore, research shows that chewing may improve or recover the process of working memory, accelerating cognitive processing speed.
Patients that have experienced previous issues with jaw pain or temporomandibular disorder should generally not chew gum until they speak with their dentist. Chewing gum should also never replace the act of brushing or flossing every day, and consumers should typically be wary of purchasing gum with artificial sweeteners.
If you have any questions about your dental health or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.