In this blog we wanted to look at a very simple way to keep your teeth clean and your mouth healthy – gum!
According to a study published this April in the American Journal of Dentistry, Chewing just one additional piece of sugarfree gum each day could save £3.3 billion worldwide on dental expenditures from treating tooth decay. Professor Reinhard Rychlik, MA MD, PhD, PhD, Director of the IfEG and the study’s lead author stated that, “Chewing sugar-free gum as a preventive measure for tooth decay has the potential to deliver significant dental care cost savings worldwide.” Prompted by these impressive findings we wanted to look at why chewing gum can have such a positive effect on your oral health.
The first thing to be very clear about is that we’re talking here about sugar-free gum only, as chewing regular gum can cause big problems for the teeth, as it releases sugars which can actually lead to tooth decay. However, if you chew the sugar-free variety, you can really do yourself a favour.
The reason why it helps, particularly after meals, is that it removes food particles from your teeth and produces more saliva. Saliva actually strengthens teeth and reduces the levels of acid in your mouth which can cause tooth decay.
Gum manufacturers are cottoning on to this market and are adding teeth friendly ingredients into sugar-free gum to help even more. One such ingredient is Xylitol, which is a naturally occurring sweetener that has been shown to actually reduce the bacteria in your mouth. Some are also adding CPP-ACP or Recaldent, which is said to remineralize and harden tooth enamel. Have a look to see whether some gums are better than others, all sugar-free variations are beneficial.
At our Marbella Dentists we recommend that you chew sugar-free gum after a meal if you are unable to clean your teeth. It’s a really easy way to make your mouth healthier and keep teeth clean, thereby minimising your chance of tooth decay. However, do limit your gum intake, excessive gum chewing can aggravate issues such as TMJ and give your jaw unnecessary wear and tear.