Chewing Gum: is it Good or Bad for your Teeth?
North American citizen is said to consume 1.8 pounds of gum each year. For many, chewing gum has become a mindless habit and those with this habit could end up going through a few packs of gum a week. With all of this gum consumption, it’s important to educate yourself on the affects that gum could have on your dental health. What’s the deal? Is it good or bad for your teeth?
In some cases, yes, it can be good for your teeth. But the benefits that gum can offer you depend entirely on what type you choose to purchase. Gum has the ability to benefit your dental health because chewing it encourages your mouth to produce more saliva. Having more saliva present helps balance out the amount of acidity that that builds up within your mouth after you eat food, preventing the acidity from breaking down the protective layer on your teeth. Meaning, if you chew a piece of gum after a meal, it could help protect your teeth from bacteria, infections, and cavities.
Unfortunately, not all gum has this positive affect on our dental health. Sugar is a terrible culprit for breaking down the protective layer of enamel on your teeth and promoting bacterial growth within your mouth.
Bacteria Love Sugar
When there is extra sugar present they begin to feed off of it causing them to grow and multiply rapidly. This quick and exponential growth has the ability to lead to the potential development of infections and cavities.
Chewing Gum Pros:
- Promotes Saliva Production
- Lowers Acidity in Mouth
- Beneficial to your Health if it is Sugar-Free
- Hardens Enamel
Chewing Gum Cons:
- Tooth Decay if Gum Contains High Levels of Sugar
- Jaw Stress is Gum is Chewed too Often
- Stomach and Digestion Disruption