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Can Chewing Gum Prevent Cavities?

Dr Martin Abelar - May 26, 2017 - 0 comments

People chew gum for a variety of reasons. Some do it to focus when they’re feeling anxious or stressed, others chew gum to freshen their breath or get rid of a bad taste in their mouth after eating. What if chewing gum not only freshened breath but also helped prevent decay?

A new study conducted by the Institute of Empirical Health Economics found that those who already chew gum could help save $4.1 billion on dental expenses worldwide by chewing just one extra piece of sugar-free gum each day. Even the American Dental Association says that after a meal, chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes can help prevent decay.

So, how does chewing gum actually help? The biggest way is by stimulating the flow of saliva. This helps neutralize the acidic environment created in the mouth by certain foods and drinks much faster than would happen on its own. It also helps wash away food particles and strengthen enamel.

The ADA has actually given their Seal of Acceptance to many sugar-free chewing gums thanks to their ability to help reduce cavities. When choosing a product at the store, it might help to look for this seal of approval when making a decision so you can be sure it has met the criteria set by the ADA for safety and effectiveness.

Of course, you should never replace a consistent oral hygiene routine that involves brushing twice a day and flossing. Simply amplify your oral care by adding sugar-free gum to the mix after meals.

Chewing gum isn’t a great idea for everyone, however, If you have been diagnosed with a TMJ disorder or believe you may be experiencing symptoms of it which include things like jaw pain, ear pain, and facial fatigue among others, avoid chewing gum as it can exacerbate symptoms.

For more information on TMJ disorders or to schedule an appointment today to discuss your symptoms, call Dr. Abelar’s office at 858-866-9692.

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