Sugar-free chewing gum is one of the few dentist-approved choices in your local candy aisle. In addition to offering you fresh breath after a flavorful meal, chewing gum can actually help preserve your oral health. AH Smiles, a respected dental practice in Arlington Heights, IL, explains four ways chewing gum can improve your oral health.
1. Combating Bad Breath
Everyone has bad breath every once in a while, and there can be many causes. Sometimes it’s the result of an especially fragrant meal, but it may also be a sign of underlying oral health conditions such as dry mouth or gum disease. If you have persistent bad breath, you should see your dentist.
For the occasional bad breath day, you can temporarily mask your bad breath with the minty or fruity scents of sugar-free gum. Chewing gum can also stimulate saliva production in your mouth which helps remove odor-causing oral bacteria.
2. Whitening Teeth
Many common habits can stain our teeth, and teeth may naturally become discolored as we age. Drinking coffee, smoking, or eating highly-pigmented or dyed foods may lead many people to seek teeth whitening treatments.
Although whitening toothpaste and at-home whitening kits can help remove stains, there are also whitening chewing gums available, too. When chewed after meals, this gum stimulates saliva production to help wash away stain-causing food particles as well as coating your teeth to prevent stains in the first place.
3. Increasing Saliva Flow
Saliva is essential to your overall mouth health because it helps wash away oral bacteria that destroy tooth enamel. Saliva helps your mouth remain at the correct pH as a dry mouth will cause an imbalance in the mouth’s pH level. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, washing away oral bacteria and leftover food particles.
How does chewing gum increase saliva production, though? When you chew, muscles compress the salivary glands in your mouth, releasing saliva to keep the mouth moist and wash away bacteria and excess food particles.
4. Preventing Tooth Decay
In addition to being more comfortable for your mouth, saliva produced by chewing gum helps wash away leftover food particles and tooth decay-causing oral bacteria. It also carries nutrients and chemicals like calcium and fluoride to your teeth which help strengthen your tooth enamel. When paired with a healthy, routine oral hygiene regimen, chewing sugar-free gum can help prevent tooth decay.
According to scientific research, by chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating, people can reduce their chances of developing cavities. Therefore, although chewing gum shouldn’t replace routine brushing and flossing, it could be a helpful addition to your oral care regimen.
Comprehensive Dental Care in Arlington Heights, IL
Chewing sugar-free gum can benefit your oral health, but it can’t completely replace your at-home oral health care routine and regular visits with your dentist for check-ups and professional cleanings. If it has been over six months since your last visit or you have any dental concerns, schedule an appointment with us online or call our office at (847) 230-9703.