Gum Chewing and Your Teeth
In the past, chewing of gum was widely discouraged by dentists because of the sugar content it introduced to your mouth and cavities that would often be a result of this past-time. But now that gum comes in a variety of flavors and many of them are sugarless, chewing gum may be something that can benefit the health of your oral cavity.
How They Sweeten Gum:
- Stevia leaf extract
The sweetening of gum can be a single sweetener unit, like aspartame, or a combination of sweeteners, like stevia and xylitol. A quick check on the list of ingredients will tell you what your gum is sweetened with. In cases where the gum is purchased from a machine, such as a gumball machine, you’re best to avoid as you can’t be sure how they sweeten it.
Sugar-Free Gum That Can Help Clean Your Teeth
Since different forms of sweeteners have been introduced in the creation of making gum, studies have concluded that chewing a form of sugar-free gum after a meal or snack can actually help. The act of chewing not only rinses off acids that bacteria plaque releases, but it can also neutralize the acids that attach to the enamel that protects your teeth.
By chewing gum, you are stimulating more saliva to flow within your mouth, which aids in washing away food particles and that sticky feeling you get on your teeth. The flavors can also help make your breath fresher and feel cleaner.
What is Xylitol?
Gum that is sweetened with xylitol has an extra bonus over other gum that is sweetened with an alternative product. We have a variety of oral bacteria that live in our mouth and contribute to the cause of cavities. With xylitol, it helps inhibit the growth of streptococcus mutans, one particular form of oral bacterium that is a leading culprit in tooth decay.
Essentially, the xylitol makes it so these specific bacteria are unable to adhere to the tooth, therefore keeping the surface of the tooth healthier. With consistent chewing of this type of sweetened gum, the types of bacteria are altered and less cavities develop as a result.
Talk to your dentist office Indianapolis about the benefits of chewing a sugar-free gum for your mouth. Although it can help, it should never replace a proper oral hygiene routine.