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The Oral Health Benefits of Chewing Gum

4 Apr
Routine Dentist

Chewing gum – love it or loathe it, it can play an important part in your oral health routine that’s not to be scoffed at. Chewing sugar free gum has a number of important benefits to your health, such as reducing tooth decay, neutralising oral acids and mitigating dental erosion.

But did you know that chewing gum can have other health benefits that aren’t to do with your oral hygiene?  Here’s our top five reasons why you should have a packet of sugar free chewing gum to hand:

  1. It helps prevent dental erosion

Dental erosion is caused by the food and drink we consume, especially by foods that are particularly acidic, like fizzy drinks and citrus fruits. Chewing a piece of gum 20 minutes after eating or drinking can help reduce an acid attack by increasing saliva. Xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar substitute, also lowers the amount of acid that attacks the teeth and increases the PH value of your saliva.

  1. It helps people with xerostomia (dry mouth)

Some people suffer with a particularly dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. This can be a side effect of certain medications, therapeutic radiation, dehydration, diabetes and diseases like Sjögren’s syndrome. Chewing a piece of gum can be beneficial to people that suffer from a dry mouth, as it stimulates the production of saliva.

  1. It helps reduce bad breath

Sugar free chewing gum can help reduce bad breath by stimulating saliva production and by helping to remove debris from in between the teeth. Although brushing and flossing are the best option, chewing gum in between meals can get into the hard to reach places, reducing the risk of bad breath, dental erosion and infection.

  1. It can reduce stress and enhance cognitive performance

There is some evidence that chewing gum can help to reduce stress levels and reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. Studies also show that it can improve concentration and increase cognitive performance.

  1. It re-mineralises tooth enamel

Chewing sugar free gum helps to promote the mineralisation of tooth enamel, which is particularly important in protecting the teeth from decay.

With such important benefits, it’s easy to see why dentists up and down the country promote sugar free chewing gum as an important part of your oral hygiene routine. However, while it has a number of benefits, it’s important to remember that it is not a substitute for brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.

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