Chewing gum for oral health
Gum chewing – some may see it as an irritating habit, mainly something that teens used to do at school and we’d all find the discarded gum stuck under the desk. But is chewing gum good for our oral health? We have been finding out a few facts.
Chewing gum can actually help protect your teeth as well as preventing bad breath. Chewing sugar-free gum could help protect your teeth from cavities. We all know that sugar feeds the “bad” bacteria in our mouths which in turn damages our teeth.
Stimulating saliva and reducing oral dryness
The action of chewing stimulates the salivary glands to increase their flow rate by up to ten times during the first few minutes of chewing, and keeps it significantly elevated throughout long periods of chewing. Increased saliva flow can accelerate the clearance of food debris from the mouth.
Stimulated saliva also has a high bicarbonate concentration, helping to neutralise acid. It is supersaturated with minerals that consist of the same components that make up our teeth, such as calcium, phosphate and hydroxyl ions.
This helps the remineralisation process, building back mineral density in teeth.
Neutralising plaque acid
Straight after eating or drinking, plaque acids can attack teeth and initiate the demineralisation of the tooth surface, which can weaken teeth and lead to decay over time.
Chewing sugar-free gum increases the saliva, which can help neutralise plaque acid, wash away food particles and remineralise tooth enamel to strengthen teeth. In fact, chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after meals and snacks has been proven to help protect teeth.
Remineralising tooth enamel
Chewing sugar-free gum helps to promote remineralisation of tooth enamel. The saliva stimulated by chewing gum helps strengthen the teeth and protect them against dental erosion by diluting and clearing potentially erosive agents from the mouth.
I think this is a pretty good amount of proof that chewing sugar-free gum is actually beneficial, especially after a meal. We all want to protect our smile and our pearly whites the best way that we can. Gum is an inexpensive and easy way to do this.
Of course, it goes without saying – chew gum alongside a good dental routine. Remember to brush twice a day, floss and use mouthwash to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy. But there are also other benefits too:
Chewing gum helps to kill bacteria in the mouth which could protect you from getting ill.
Chewing gum has been implied as a way to relieve stress and provide relaxation.
Chewing gum can help you stay focused for longer on tasks that require continuous monitoring.
You can burn up to 11 calories per hour while chewing sugar-free gum. The act of chewing also helps prevent unnecessary snacking, perfect if you are trying to loose weight.
So there you have it. It is not only good for your oral health but can also improve your overall mental wellbeing too.
Posted by: Sarah Dixon | Posted on: March 16, 2021 | Posted in: HEALTH & WELLBEING