Is Chewing Gum Bad for Your Teeth?
Do you enjoy chewing gum? Have people told you that it harms your teeth? Or maybe they said the opposite, that it helps your teeth? There are many opinions on gum, but where are the real facts? Read our dentist‘s blog post to find out more.
Effects of Chewing Gum
Whether you are chewing gum or chewing food, the act of chewing stimulates the acid and saliva in your mouth. When you are chewing food, that acid goes down into your stomach with the food. However, with chewing gum, it stays in your mouth.
The acid will eventually break down the enamel in your teeth. Enamel protects your teeth from sugar and other bacteria. Weakened enamel leads to weaker teeth and cavities.
However, there are some positives to chewing gum. For instance, the saliva produced helps wash away the acid. Chewing gum after eating can pull out pieces of food from your teeth.
Sugar-free or Sugarless Gum
If you must chew gum, then sugar-free or sugarless gum is best. The sugars in regular gum can cause the degradation of your enamel and the promotion of cavities.
Chewing sugar-free and sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth. The saliva washes away food particles on your teeth. It also after a meal helps your mouth keep your teeth clean. The saliva also helps to neutralize the acid in your mouth.
Dentist Recommended Gum:
Regular gum is not good for your teeth. While chewing regular gum will create saliva, it also releases a lot of sugar into your mouth.
Foods That Are Harmful to Your Teeth
Here are some foods to avoid if you want to protect your teeth.
Sour candies promote the production of acid in your mouth. Acid will break down your enamel and damage your teeth. In addition, these candies also have sugar which can cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Candy is full of sugar. Sugar is not good for your teeth. You can eat candy in small amounts but it is important to brush your teeth well. Chewing candies will promote the creation of saliva but they also can create acid.
Alcohol is also sugar that can and will damage your teeth. Also, some alcohols promote the creation of acid. Lastly, alcohol dries out your mouth which prevents the creation of saliva. Saliva washes away food particles.
Carbonated beverages are full of sugars. Even diet sodas will damage your teeth. In addition, soda and pop dries out your mouth.
Dried Fruits with Added Sugars
Fruit is sugary enough without drying it out. Dried fruit is concentrated sugar. And then they go and add more sugar?
Citrus fruits and citrusy foods have a lot of acid. While the act of chewing will help with saliva creation, limiting acidic foods is the best option.
Fruit juices and fruit flavored beverages often have a lot of sugar. To keep your teeth healthy, limit your intake of any fruit juices and try to avoid drinking ones with lots of added sugars.
Reach Out to our Dentist if You Have Any Questions About Chewing Gum
Chewing gum won’t damage your teeth in small amounts. However, like all sugary foods, if you use too much it can be damaging.
If you have more questions about chewing gum, or would like recommendations about breath freshening, reach out to our dentist today!
Creating Smiles, PC, located in St. John and Valparaiso, Indiana, offers everything you need for a healthy smile and a healthier life. Dr. Kapers and his team can take the anxiety and uncertainty out of dental visits with sedation dentistry, and we're the premier provider of dental implants in the region.