Sugarless gum can offer multiple oral health benefits for people who would like to add additional protective measures to their dental hygiene regimen. Here are a few benefits offered each time you chew sugarless gum:
Dry Mouth Prevention
Dry mouth is a condition in which there is too little saliva produced. It can cause the soft tissues of the oral cavity to feel uncomfortably dry.
When you chew gum, the salivary glands are stimulated to produce more saliva. As the saliva is secreted, the interior of the mouth is more moisturized. This is particularly important because, without enough saliva to rinse away plaque and to dilute or neutralize oral acids, dental decay can more easily occur.
Removal of Food Particles
When a person eats, most of his or her food is generally swallowed, but there is still some leftover debris in the mouth. Oral bacteria can then feed on the carbohydrate content of leftover particles of food in the oral cavity. As the microbes feed, they release acid as a by-product of their digestion.
This acid dissolves tooth enamel and causes the formation of cavities. Still, when there is no food source available for the bacteria, less decay-causing acid is secreted.
Gum helps remove particles of food from the mouth. The stickiness of the gum helps pull plaque and edible debris from the tooth enamel. Thus, gum can help clean your teeth when no toothbrush or dental floss is available.
Gum manufacturers often tout their product's ability to promote good breath. However, the gum's ability to freshen the breath may not be fully dependent on its minty or fruity flavorings.
Halitosis often occurs when anaerobic bacteria release volatile sulfur compounds into the mouth. These bacteria can be controlled by chewing gum that is sweetened with xylitol or is flavored with cinnamon. Xylitol, which is a natural sweetener, is antibacterial. Cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties.
Tooth Enamel Repair
Sugarless gum that includes xylitol can also assist in the repair of tooth enamel. Some studies indicate that when tooth enamel that has been partially dissolved is subjected to a remineralizing solution that includes a 20-percent concentration of xylitol, the enamel displays a greater extent of reparation than it shows after being placed in a remineralizing solution that does not include xylitol.
To learn more reasons to add chewing gum to your dental health regimen, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your area, such as Dr. James A. Dempsey.