Why Chewing Gum is Good for Dental Health

Chewing gum, particularly the sugar-free variety, can offer several benefits for dental health. Saliva is a natural defense against tooth decay, and chewing gum stimulates saliva production by up to 10 times the normal rate(1). This extra saliva helps neutralise and rinse away harmful acids produced by bacteria, reducing the risk of cavities(2).

Xylitol, a common sweetener in sugar-free gum, has added benefits. Unlike sugar, which feeds harmful mouth bacteria, xylitol can’t be metabolised by them. In fact, studies show that xylitol inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a major bacteria responsible for tooth decay(3).

Remember to choose sugar-free gums, as regular sugary gum can promote tooth decay. As always, while gum can be a helpful adjunct, it doesn’t replace regular brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.

(1) Dodds, M.W., Johnson, D.A., & Yeh, C.K. (2007). Health benefits of saliva: a review. Journal of Dentistry, 35(3), 223-233.

(2) Wessel, S.W., et al. (2008). The potential benefits of chewing gum for the delivery of oral therapeutics and its possible role in oral healthcare. Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, 13(10), 1421-1431.

(3) Söderling, E. (2009). Xylitol, mutans streptococci, and dental plaque. Advances in Dental Research, 21(1), 74-78.



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