To Chew or Not to Chew

When it comes to your teeth and adding freshness to your breath, many people across the nation turn to chewing gum to do the trick. Chewing gum is used by different people for different reasons but is chewing gum actually good for your teeth and mouth? We’ve put together some pros and cons of chewing gum so you can decide for yourself.

Some pros to chewing gum include the ability to instantly add a fresh minty taste to your mouth that can help mask bad breath. Many chewing gums are touted as whitening gums, and they can ever so slightly help with surface stains on teeth. Certain chewing gum can kill bacteria in your mouth as well as help eliminate odor causing germs. Saliva is vitally important to the health of your mouth, teeth and gums and the act of chewing on gum helps stimulate saliva. Chewing gum will help fight dry mouth and bad breath. Chewing a piece of gum after you’ve eaten can help remove food and bacteria left behind from your meal. Most dentists agree that in most cases chewing gums with xylitol content are likely to have a beneficial influence on oral health. There are other pros to gum chewing, but these are the main factors involving your oral health.

Some negative factors about chewing gum include added stress to the muscles of the face and jaw from excessive chewing. Some people experience discomfort in the jaw. If you suffer from symptoms of TMJ or TMD (temporomandibular disorder) gum chewing can aggravate the symptoms. Chewing gum that has sugar as an ingredient increases can increase the development of cavities. Most sugar free gums are made with aspartame, which is a sugar substitute that is not good for your health. Aspartame has a handful of negative side effects including headaches, dizziness, skin reactions and even depression.

If you still have questions about if you should chew or not to chew, talk to your dental professional at your next appointment.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Sarah Roberts, Crabapple Dental

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