Chewing Gum: is it good or bad for you?

23 November 2015

Chewing Gum: is it good or bad for you?
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Have you ever wondered whether chewing gum is good or bad for your dental health? It’s a common query, so we want to share the science behind chewing gum after a meal.

Acid attack

After you eat or drink anything, the bacteria that live in your mouth break down the food particles, producing acids that damage your tooth enamel. Luckily, your mouth produces saliva to counteract this process and replace the minerals that the enamel has lost. This usually takes about one hour, and this is where sugar-free chewing gum comes in…

That’s right, it has to be sugar-free, otherwise the sugar in the chewing gum is just as bad for your teeth as any sweet food or drink.

Mineral replacement

If you chew sugar-free gum for ten to twenty minutes after a meal or fizzy drink, it speeds up the mineral replacement process by causing your mouth to produce more saliva than normal. This means that your enamel suffers less damage, helping to prevent plaque build-up and tooth decay.

No substitute for a good oral hygiene routine

Of course, we do not recommend that you rely solely on chewing sugar-free gum to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Beware that excessive chewing can lead to jaw problems and headaches. The best way to maintain good oral health is to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly.

If you’d like to find out more about how to protect your teeth from the effects of sugar, please read our last blog post. And don’t forget to visit the dentist every six months for a Healthy Mouth Check.

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