Chewing gum is popular with everyone from adults to kids. And while it may be a fun hobby to have, could chewing gum be bad for your teeth?
Pros of Chewing Gum
Chewing gum can be good for your mouth if you choose a minty gum with a strong flavor that can be used to refreshen your breath in a hurry. Chewing gum also stimulates saliva, which is essential to neutralizing any acids in your teeth that could eat away at the enamel. This washes away cavity-forming bacteria and can prevent gum disease. Xylitol is a natural alternative to sugar found in many sugar-free gums that helps fight cavities. Chewing gum also has the benefit of helping to stave off random food cravings so you can have a healthier diet. Chewing gum also has a health benefit in that it can lower stress levels and help you relax.
Cons of Chewing Gum
When you choose sugary gum, your teeth and gums get coated in sugar–sugar that feeds the bacteria in your mouth, causing bad breath and cavities. Chewing gum can overwork your jaw muscles, leading to spasms and pain, and can aggravate a jaw disorder called temporomandibular joint condition. This may lead to permanent problems that require orthopedic treatment. For some people, chewing gum makes a clicking or popping sound in the jaw. Artificially-sweetened gum, such as those containing aspartame can contribute to just as many health issues as jaw dislocations.
If you have questions about which gum is the best for your dental health call our office today so we can help you make good choices. If chewing gum causes you any kind of pain let us know so we can work to find the right dental solution.