It may not seem like much of a lifesaver, but the humble piece of gum has saved us from many embarrassing situations. It can make or break that first kiss from a date. It saved that conversation with our co-workers from our post-lunch breath. Waiting to be interviewed for that new job but your nerves are racked? Chew on a piece of gum and calm yourself down. Do you just want a quick way to get that minty fresh breath or maybe just lose a few calories? A humble piece gum can do that for you. How about preventing cavities and tooth decay? It sure can. Yes, you’ve read that right. Chewing gum can actually prevent cavities and tooth decay. But how and is it really that easy? Keep on reading so we can learn more about the gum and its benefits on dental care.
Not Just Any Gum
If you want to prevent cavities just by chewing gum, you cannot just go for any type of gum. Go for the sugarless gum. It is common knowledge that sugar promotes the spread of cavities. But it is not the sugar itself but the bacteria in your mouth that uses the sugar to produce acids that damage the teeth. So take it easy on those sugary drinks and foods. No amount of sugarless gum will help if you don’t do your part.
How It Protects Our Teeth
Most sugarless gums contain the additive xylitol. This additive is a natural sweetener and is believed to fight cavity-causing bacteria. Though in practice, there haven’t been enough studies to show that xylitol has a big impact. Sugarless gums do help in preventing cavities and tooth decay but xylitol by itself is not solely responsible. What does help in preventing tooth decay is not the ingredients in the gum but the act of chewing gum itself. Chewing gum promotes the production of saliva which washes out food debris that may be stuck in between your teeth. It also neutralizes the acid that is produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Saliva also contains phosphate and calcium which strengthen your teeth’s enamel. This means that with the increased saliva flow caused by the act of chewing gum, there is also an increase in the amount of phosphate and calcium that you are providing your teeth.
The Key Points
Chewing sugarless gum does help in preventing tooth decay but it is still no substitute for proper dental care like brushing one’s teeth. You can add it to your personal dental care regimen but don’t solely rely on it. Remember, brush your teeth twice a day and minimize the consumption of sugary treats.