Jul 13, 2018

There’s a lot of seemingly conflicting information out there about chewing gum and oral health. Sometimes it seems that this habit is recommended to improve oral health, and other times, you’ll find information claiming that chewing gum can damage your smile. In this post, we’ll review some of the pros and cons of chewing gum to help demystify this habit. If you want to learn more about gum, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist during a preventive dentistry appointment. These regular six month dental exams give patients an opportunity to discuss best practices with their dentists and hygienists to keep their smiles whole and healthy for life.

Pros of chewing gum

Some of the reasons you may want to consider chewing sugar free gum include:

  • Remove stuck on food and plaque, especially between meals to reduce the risk for decay and oral health concerns
  • Stimulate saliva production to neutralize acidic plaque and limit risk for dental health issues
  • Strengthen teeth with xylitol and calcium lactate often found as additives in sugar free gum
  • Help satisfy your sweet tooth without damaging your actual tooth with acidic sugars

Cons of chewing gum

Unfortunately, there are some concerns that may negate the potential benefits of chewing gum. Chewing sugar free gum for a few minutes between some meals may not be a big deal, but those who chew gum constantly can experience jaw joint damage. TMJ dysfunction, jaw pain and strain, can occur due to the repetitive jaw movements. Some sugar free gums use potentially harmful substitutes like aspartame that have been linked to a number of oral and whole body health issues. It’s not always clear which gums are safe and which contain potentially damaging ingredients, so taking the time to find a good sugar free gum that uses sweeteners like xylitol is essential.

Meet dr. Weerasooriya

Skilled and caring Sarasota dentist, Shanaka L. Weerasooriya, DMD, offers patients at Tarpon Shores Dental a wide range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services to create healthy smiles that last a lifetime. During your six month dental exams and teeth cleaning appointments, Dr. Weerasooriya and his dedicated dentistry team will be happy to review all of your oral health and hygiene habits and help you to create a personalized dental care plan, in our office and at home, that will keep your smile healthy. If you want to learn more, call our Sarasota dental office to schedule an appointment today. We look forward to hearing from you soon.