Chewing sugar-free gum can bring a lot of benefits to your mouth health, some of them unexpected. Studies show that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating can help prevent cavity formation! The gum itself is not what fights cavities, but rather the natural process that it stimulates in your mouth.
The act of chewing cues the salivary glands to create more saliva. It is this extra saliva–not the gum itself–which fights the bacteria that cause cavities. Cavities primarily form due to acid erosion triggered by the foods you eat. The bacteria living in your mouth consume the sugars from the leftover food particles in your mouth. They create an acidic byproduct, which eats away at enamel until a hole develops. Saliva is your body’s first natural defense against this cycle of cavity formation. Help it along by chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating.
Chewing sugar-free gum has also been shown to combat the effects of heartburn. Heartburn is caused by acids from the stomach traveling up the esophagus, gradually wearing away the tissues. If those acids reach your mouth, they can damage your teeth. Excess saliva formation protects your teeth from these acids and may even reduce the occurence of heartburn.
For more information, call McAllister Dentistry in Hickory, North Carolina, at 828-322-6731. Dr. John McAllister and our team look forward to making your smile shine!