Many people enjoy chewing gum throughout the day. It keeps them from indulging in unhealthy snacks or dessert, it helps keep their breath smelling fresh, and it helps people who are trying to break a bad habit (e.g., smoking or biting their fingernails). Chewing gum also has another lesser-known benefit that may sound too good to be true: chewing gum can help prevent cavities from developing and damaging the teeth.
The mouth is specifically designed to need moisture throughout the day. If you have ever experienced a dry mouth, you understand how important a moist mouth truly is. Saliva production helps keep the mouth moist, and it also performs a significant role in your oral health.
Each day, millions of bacteria call your mouth their home. These bacteria are helpful in that they assist in breaking down particles inside your mouth that are left behind after eating and drinking. With proper saliva production, these bacteria are continually washed away. However, when there is not adequate moisture inside of the mouth, these bacteria are left on the surfaces of your teeth, causing an overabundance of acid production that will harm your teeth.
Chewing gum is an easy way to stimulate the production of saliva. Your salivary glands have a positive response to the taste of chewing gum, so they react every time you put a piece of gum inside your mouth. By chewing gum after a meal or a snack, you are helping to wash away harmful particles and acids from your teeth. Of course, it is crucial that you choose a sugar-free option when selecting chewing gum. Gum that is laden with sugar will only coat your teeth in sugar and lead to cavities. Sugar-free gum can provide your mouth with a great tasting method of preventing cavities.
At Buford Family Dental, we want to help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile. If you would like a recommendation for sugar-free gum, please call our office or ask us at your next appointment.