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Gum Chewing – Is it Bad or Good for Your Teeth?

December 13, 2016

There are several thoughts and lots of conflicting information about whether gum chewing is beneficial or harmful to your teeth. Are all gums the same? Are some better than others? The short answer is ” YES” chewing gum can be good for you, but there are other factors to consider:

Which Chewing Gums are the best?

Look for options that have the American Dental Association ( ADA) seal of acceptance. This assures that scientists have evaluated the gum for safety and effectiveness. The seal also certifies that the claims that the packaging state are true. To date, only sugar free gums are approved with the ADA seal.

How do the benefits of Gum Chewing work?

Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, which is helpful after eating.  The increase in saliva can help neutralize acids and which in turn helps to prevent tooth decay. Studies have shown that chewing gum for 20 minutes after meals is most effective.

Sugar vs. Sugar Free?

First, chewing gum with sugar will have the same effect of increasing saliva, which is helpful. However, the sugar in the gum can be used by the bacteria and plaque to produce the acids that can cause tooth decay.  Therefore, Sugared gums cancel out any positive effect that the gum could have.

Does Chewing Gum replace Brushing and Flossing?

Not at all! While, Gum Chewing is great if you can not brush immediately following eating or drinking, it should not be used as a replacement. You need to brush twice a day and floss daily. As long as you use a chewing gum marked with the ADA seal, you can chew with confidence. Your breath will be fresher and your mouth will feel cleaner.

Painful jaw after Gum Chewing?

Over use of your jaw with any repetitive motion can cause jaw pain. Chewing gum can cause jaw or muscle pain to the muscles of your face, head and neck. If you experience this, quit chewing the gum. Call us for an exam to check out your Jaw Pain. It is never a good idea to continue to tax a sore jaw by continuing the repetitive motion of chewing gum. Call us at 920-733-2445 to make an appointment with Dr. Jeff or Dr. Trent.

Tags: fresh breath gum chewing jaw pain sugar free gum sugared gum