Everyone loves the guy who always has a stick of gum. We just seem to gravitate towards them, because they just seem to be the friendliest person around. But depending on what variation they have they are also looking after your teeth. Because who doesn’t love to be offered a stick of gum? We may chew gum to distract from a bad habit, for the taste of ‘sweetness’, or to freshen our breath, but we are going to focus on the benefits.

The physical act of chewing gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth. If you chew after eating, the increased salivary flow can help neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on your teeth. In fact, clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay.

It’s important to note that not all gum is created equally: it’s important to chew sugarless gum, and if possible, choose gum sweetened with xylitol. Tooth decay starts when bacteria in your mouth consumes sugar, and when that sugar is allowed to stay in contact with your teeth, it provides an opportunity for decay to set in as bacteria has food to grow and multiply within your mouth. When you chew gum, the additional saliva neutralizes oral acids and flushes sugar away from the teeth, starving bacteria and protecting your teeth from cavities. xylitol – a sugar alcohol popular in low-calorie foods – not only provides the sweetness that gum chewers may enjoy without adding sugar, the chemical itself neutralizes bacteria known to cause cavities.

If you have questions or concerns regarding chewing gum, contact Dr. Tayefi, DDS at (905) 237-7842 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.artdentfamilydentistry.com for additional information.

Dr. Elham Tayefi proudly serves Ontario and all surrounding areas.