Can Chewing Gum Help Prevent Cavities?
These days, dental studies have shown that chewing gum effectively removes and traps harmful bacteria from the mouth. Today, many dentists recommend chewing gum after meals, albeit sugar-free, to reduce cavities and plaque buildup. However, chewing sugarless gum does not replace the importance of brushing and flossing but can help improve your oral hygiene if you cannot brush your teeth immediately after a meal. Read on to learn more from our team at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County in State College, PA to see how chewing gum helps clean your teeth and helps with cavity prevention.
What are the leading causes of cavities?
Tooth decay, or cavities, are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in the mouth, sipping sugary drinks, eating unhealthily, frequent snacking, and not brushing correctly. It is one of the most common dental problems among children, teenagers, and adults. Treating cavities is imperative to avoid tooth decay from becoming more extensive and affecting deeper layers of the teeth. As decay grows, it can cause severe tooth pain, infection, and even tooth loss. Regular dental visits for professional cleanings and the importance of brushing and flossing are the best protection against tooth decay and cavities. Now State College, PA dental patients can occasionally add chewing gum after meals to the list of healthy oral habits with sugarless options to reduce the bacteria that cause plaque and tooth decay.
Does chewing gum after meals fight cavities?
Chewing gum is fun and tasty to do, but did you know that chewing sugarless gum has oral health care benefits? The American Dental Association (ADA) has found that sugar-free gum can help prevent cavities or tooth decay, especially after a meal. Chewing gum triggers the body to produce more saliva, which can help dilute food particles and sugars. Saliva rids our mouth of harmful acids produced when the bacteria on your teeth break down the food you consume. If this acid lingers around tooth enamel, it begins to break down over time, leading to cavities.
Which sugarless chewing gum is recommended?
It is a known fact that sugar in chewing gum is bad for your teeth, so patients must choose sugarless options. Drinks, snacks, and even chewing gum sweetened with sugar are digested by the harmful bacteria in the mouth, causing an increase in the amount of plaque, and can cause tooth decay over time. Even sugarless chewing gum should be done in moderation and should never be a replacement for regular brushing. There is no substitute for the importance of flossing and brushing your teeth every day, in addition to seeing your dentist twice a year for exams, X-rays, and professional cleanings. If you are going to chew gum after meals, make sure it is a sugar-free option that contains xylitol. Some popular brands are:
- Glee Gum
Sugarless chewing gum has shown to be effective at trapping and removing harmful bacteria from the mouth after eating. However, when chewing gum after meals, a good rule of thumb is moderation. So, help promote your oral health and protect your teeth by grabbing a piece of sugarless chewing gum occasionally after eating to reduce your risk of a dental cavity. At Advanced Dentistry of Centre County, we are dedicated to helping our patients improve oral health in State College, PA. To schedule your next exam and teeth cleaning, contact our dental office today.