Oral Effects of Chewing Gum
Everyone has probably chewed gum at some point. But have you ever wondered if it is bad for your teeth? If you’re wondering, continue reading to learn more about chewing gum and find out if it’s good or bad for you.
What is chewing gum?
Chewing gum has been used since the ancient Greek and Mayan civilizations. It is a soft cohesive substance that is designed to be chewed but not swallowed. In modern times, chewing gum is thought of more of a kind of candy and is very popular. Chewing bum typically consist of a gum base, artificial sweeteners, softeners such as glycerin, and some flavorings and colorings. Making chewing gum has a few basic simple steps. First the gum base is melted together and other ingredients are added until a warm thick mixture is formed. The mixture is blended until is it smooth and gum is formed. The gum is then shaped, cooled for up to 48 hours, and packaged.
Chewing gum and your teeth
Chewing the right type of gum is beneficial in maintaining your teeth and mouth. The only chewing gums that is awarded the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal and recommended by the organization are sugarless. Sweeteners such as aspartame, sorbitol, or mannitol are used to sweeten sugarless gums. When selecting which chewing gum to purchase, look for ones with the ADA Seal, which signifies that the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs has evaluated the gum for safety and efficacy. A company can earn the ADA Seal for its chewing gum product by meeting oral safety measures and demonstrating efficacy. Chewing gum is not a substitute or replacement for appropriate brushing and flossing. The ADA recommends brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and once daily flossing.
The physical act of chewing increases the salivary glands to produce saliva. Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase salivary flow and help neutralize and wash away the acids produced by bacteria in plaque on teeth. Increased saliva flow can also carry with it more calcium and phosphate to help strengthen tooth enamel. Some gum may even contain active agents that could enhance remineralization of teeth and reduce decay or help reduce plaque and gingivitis.
Need a dental appointment?
Since chewing gum is not a substitution for brushing and flossing your teeth, you should also continue to have your regular dental checkup. Remember to contact California Dental Group to schedule your appointment by calling (800) 407-0161. Give us a call if you have any questions about keeping your teeth and mouth healthy.