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Can Chewing Gum Improve Your Dental Health?

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Can chewing gum keep my teeth healthy?

Yes.

Chewing gum can improve your overall oral health. This is due to one crucial fact: having a dry mouth is bad for your oral health. This is why people who breathe through their mouths tend to have more problems than those who breathe through their noses. It is also why snorers tend to have mouth problems.

Saliva is always good for your mouth. Small food particles that get stuck between your teeth will simply stay there and eventually rot without adequate saliva. Without proper lubrication, small food particles will eventually turn into plaque and tartar. Chewing gum improves saliva production which in turn, breaks down food particles that are missed by brushing and flossing.

What about gum with sugar?

The American Dental Association only encourages chewing specific types of gum. It is crucial to avoid chewing gum that has sugar in it. Adding sugar to the moth can exacerbate mouth bacteria and produce biofilm and acids that harm tooth enamel. While it is tasty, it also causes tooth decay. Hence, dentists do not recommend you chew sugary gum.

Instead, you should find a nice sugar-free gum to enjoy after meals, such as ones that use xylitol.

Integrating chewing gum into your oral hygiene routine

Chewing gum is not meant to act as a replacement to your oral hygiene routine. Instead, it should be added to your oral hygiene routine for the best results. Brushing, flossing, rinsing, and then using a sugar-free chewing gum provides better results than simply brushing, flossing, and rinsing alone. It is the (sugar-free) cherry on top of the metaphorical (sugar-free) desert.

Since the majority of over-the-counter mouth rinses that are available contain alcohol, having a dry mouth after your oral hygiene routine is not uncommon. Adding chewing gum reduces the risk of dry mouth and improves the digestion process within your mouth.

Risks associated with dry mouth

Dry mouth is associated with a number of oral health problems. The biggest issue is that food left over from chewing and eating is not properly digested and becomes the breeding ground for gum bacteria. The gum bacteria damages your teeth and increases the rate of decay. For that reason, those with dry mouth have increased problems with gum disease and related conditions. The chances of developing mouth sores, thrush, or nutritional deficits from failing to process the food you eat all increase. Chewing sugar-free gum is one dental hack we can use to improve our oral health.

Talk to a Flagstaff, AZ Dentist Today

Peak Family Dental has three locations in Arizona and is more than happy to meet all of the dental needs of your and your family. Call today to schedule an appointment and we can begin improving your oral health immediately!

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