Chewing gum is one of the most popular habits among Americans. It is tasty, relatively cheap, and, did you know, it can actually be beneficial. Many people chew gum as a means to help them quit smoking or to stop biting their nails. Yet, there is another benefit of chewing gum that may be hard to believe: it can help fight cavities. Chewing the right kind of gum can benefit your breath and your mouth as a whole.
Millions of bacteria call your mouth their home on any given day. While that may gross you out, it is still true. These bacteria are present to help break down the tiny particles that are left behind inside your mouth any time you eat or drink. It is true that these bacteria can be helpful, but they can also be quite harmful to your teeth. You see, as the bacteria go to work on particles left behind in the mouth, they begin to produce acids to assist them. It is these acids that eat their way through whatever is in their path – this being your tooth enamel. Cavities occur where acids eat holes in the teeth.
Chewing gum can be beneficial to your oral health because it helps to keep the mouth free of an over-growth of acid producing-bacteria. Saliva is an important component of your oral health. A moist mouth keeps bacteria from easily clinging to the teeth; thus, they do not constantly put the mouth at assault from acid. Chewing gum promotes the production of saliva, and this helps to fight against the development of cavities.
Of course, it is essential that you choose a sugar-free chewing gum. Oral bacteria are most attracted to sugar particles that are left behind in the mouth. They will congregate in large quantities and will produce an overabundance of acids to break these particles down. If you chew gum that is laden with sugar, you are simply inviting acidic damage to occur. Sugar-free gum can be a pleasant way to fight cavities! Yet, it is never meant to replace flossing and brushing your teeth on a daily basis. Flossing, brushing, and keeping regular dental appointments are the best ways to ensure that your mouth is healthy.
At Riverheart Family Dentistry, we are happy to recommend a sugar free gum that will benefit your mouth. We want to do our part to make achieving optimal oral health easy for you. Contact us today.