Hello gum chewers! In this post, we’re going to talk about that sticky wad in your mouth. You know that it can freshen your breath. But we do a lot of cavity filling at Durham Dental Group, so we have to ask: is gum chewing worth the risk?
It really depends on the type of gum. Chewing regular sucrose-based gum can be beneficial in removing bits of food from the surface of teeth, but that benefit is negated by the stream of sugar washing over your teeth as you chew.
However, gum with some alternative sweeteners has an added benefit for your pearly whites. Xylitol is a sweetener which not only has fewer calories than traditional sugars, but it also has antimicrobial properties that cut down plaque build-up. This means that xylitol inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes dental caries.
So if you’re headed out to a restaurant, bring a pack of sugar-free gum with you and pop it in your mouth when your meal is done. Of course, brushing and flossing are the ideal practices for your oral health, but when you can’t brush, settle upon a sugarless gum with xylitol.
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