Most everyone chews gum, whether for fun or freshness, but have you ever thought about the effect it may have on your teeth as you’re chewing away? While not a substitute for your daily oral care routine, you will find there are both pros and cons to chewing gum.
When you eat food, particles can get lodged in between teeth and your mouth produces acid to break down the food being ingested. Chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol can help to keep teeth cleaner since it produces excess saliva, which helps to neutralize and rid some of the acid that is produced. This helps to strengthen the tooth enamel which discourages tooth decay. It also helps to dislodge and whisk remains out from in between teeth promoting cleanliness. This is especially true if you tend to chew gum after eating.
Chewing gum can also reduce stress and boost brain function. Studies have shown that chewing gum while performing other activities has positive effects on alertness, memory and understanding and help you to focus longer. Theories suggest the act of chewing and increased blood flow helps to improve memory and reduce stress. Another pro of chewing gum is that it can help with losing weight. Some studies have suggested that chewing gum can reduce your appetite, thereby preventing overeating. Other studies have found evidence that chewing gum can increase your metabolic rate.
If you chew gum that is not sugar-free, this can present some cons. Gum with higher amounts of sugar can contribute to excess plaque in your mouth since it is absorbed by the bad bacteria. This causes cavities and tooth decay, some of which can be irreversible. Ingesting too much sugar also can of course, lead to obesity or diabetes.
For some, chewing gum has shown to be linked to headaches and migraines and pain in your jaw when you chew. Some believe that chewing gum can lead to the development or exacerbation of TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction) and you should not chew gum sugar free or not, in this case.
If you chew gum responsibly, choosing sugar free with xylitol, you may find there are some pleasant benefits to chewing gum. However, if you go the sugary route, you may find yourself in need of a dentist sooner than you thought. For a consultation and to schedule an appointment contact us today at 561-737-5530