Chewing gum can lead to dental caries while increasing the chances of tooth decay. However, that’s not entirely true. Other kinds of gum on the market can also help prevent dental caries and that’s what makes both different from each other.
How Does Chewing Gum Causes Decay?
Cavities that develop from chronic gum chewing often are not very noticeable in plain view. A small hole will be evident on the tooth enamel, but when an x-ray is taken, half of the tooth is ‘bombed out’ on the inside. This type of decay is unique to gum chewing. Even when excellent oral hygiene habits are in place, frequent gum chewing continues to cause decay of the teeth. The amount of sugar present in the gum renders the tooth to the continued acid attacks resulting in dental caries. While dentist advised eating chewing gum to increase the salivary flow rate. Doing so frequently can also lead to increase chances of dental caries.
How Does Chewing Gum Prevent Decay?
The kind of gums which are present in the market also include sugar-free gums. These chewing gums contain xylitol – a type of sugar which does not lead to bacterial and acid attacks. Xylitol-containing gums are also known to reduce the chances of tooth decay due to their potent activity in the remineralizaation of enamel. Many studies show that chewing a piece of gum with Xylitol encourages healthier gums, reduces bleeding, and decreases harmful bacteria. For patients who are actively fighting gum disease and recurrent tooth decay, chewing these gums may be beneficial to their oral health.
Chewing Gum & Plaque
Chewing also can fight plaque. It is a white residue that accumulates on your teeth as a result of the food you eat. This plaque can cause damage to your teeth with time, and can even eat away at the healthy enamel that lies underneath. Chewing gum resolves the accumulation of plaque by gently brushing it away from the teeth and washing the structure with healthy saliva.
Chewing Gum For Oral Conditions
According to the American Dental Association, chewing gum may also be beneficial for patients with dry mouth. A dry mouth can be caused by certain medications and medical conditions. Radiation therapy is one of the most common causes of dry mouth since it can destroy the salivary glands within the mouth. When there is no saliva to cleanse the teeth on a normal basis, the decay becomes rampant.
Xylitol-containing gum doesn’t only promotes salivary production, but the lack of sugar also prevents acid production further preventing caries. While the old school of thought might have been to suck on a peppermint, this is not the healthiest option for our teeth. Within just 5 to 10 minutes of chewing gum, saliva production will peak. Chewing Xylitol gum may be a good option to decrease the dental consequences and discomfort of a dry mouth.
The best way to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride. Sugarless gum can benefit your teeth, but nothing helps your dental help like regular visits to your dentist.