Chewing gum

Does Chewing Gum Hurt or Harm your Teeth?

Kingston TN

Gum chewers worldwide have varied motivations for chewing gum, with benefits including relieving tension and anxiety, curbing hunger, and freshening breath on the go. In addition, there is evidence that chewing gum, in one form or another, has been used by humans for thousands of years. However, the question still lingers about chewing gum’s effect on your smile. So, our Kingston, Tennessee, family dentist at LakeView Dental Arts shares on the blog today the details about how chewing gum may hurt or harm your teeth and how you can protect your pearly whites.

The Downside

For years, many refused to believe that chewing gum had a downside. However, through scientific study and time, researchers found that chewing gum can cause poor oral health conditions. They also discovered that long-term damage to your teeth and gums might occur if you chew gum too often or purchase the wrong variety. Below are two downfalls that accompany gum chewing.

  • Too Much Acid Can Be Harmful to Your Teeth

According to the American Dental Association, microorganisms in the mouth may break down sugar from the gum. The biofilm and acids produced by these bacteria erode enamel slowly over time. So if you chew gum often, especially sugary gum, you should be aware and take precautions.

  • Stay away from These Potentially Harmful Ingredients

Gum from certain manufacturers may include trace levels of Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Titanium Dioxide, and Aspartame, all of which relate to cancer, nervous system damage, and obesity. While no definitive study on these substances exists, experts believe that additional investigation is necessary, and consumers should be aware of their existence in certain foods.

The Upside

Even though there are some downfalls, there are more positive oral health benefits that you can receive when chewing sugar-free gum. Not only does chewing gum refresh your breath after a garlic or onion-laden meal, but it serves as a stimulant for your body to produce saliva that washes away harmful bacteria and food debris. Our family dentist that serves the Kingston, Tennessee, area shares more benefits that chewing gum can provide.

  • Stress and Anxiety Reduction

Chewing gum shows in studies that it helps individuals lower their stress levels. That’s because chewing gum releases a hormone called cortisol, which has a calming effect.

  • Boost Your Concentration and Efficiency

It’s mind-boggling that some people tested 36% better on long-term memory tests while chewing gum and others tested 14% better on short-term memory tests. Research shows that chewing gum may be a distraction at the beginning of work but has the opposite effect as the activity progresses, making the individual more focused and attentive.

  • Slow Your Hunger Down

Many people find that chewing gum helps them resist consuming unhealthy junk food like chips and sweets. After a meal, chewing gum might satisfy your sweet tooth and curb your need for more food. 

  • Guard Your Smile!

Chewing sugar-free gum that contains xylitol may help prevent tooth decay. So, when you choose wisely, gum can help keep your pearly whites safe, but it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for daily oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing.

The Best Gum to Protect Your Smile

Unfortunately, not all gum brands are created equal. For example, some are high in sugar and can continuously bathe your tooth enamel in a smile-destroying substance. On the other hand, xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol with a sweetness comparable to sugar but with fewer calories. At the same time, it helps prevent bad breath and may help reduce your risk of cavities. So, switching to gum with xylitol is a great place to start if you’re looking to improve your dental health.

Family Dentist in Kingston, Tennessee

Gum chewing has several advantages, including better oral hygiene and a more positive outlook on life, but it should never take the place of regular brushing and flossing. When you choose your gum variety wisely and select one that includes xylitol instead of sugar, you can simultaneously chew gum and protect your oral health. If you have questions about chewing gum or would like to schedule a checkup and cleaning, please get in touch with LakeView Dental Arts for an appointment. Call our office at (865) 376-9687 or contact us online today.

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