How Chewing Gum Can Impact Your Oral Health

Chewing gums rich in sugar can lead to cavities and tooth decay, as the sugar gives scope for the buildup of plaque-causing bacteria.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: Dec 02, 2022 18:18 IST
How Chewing Gum Can Impact Your Oral Health

Many people may recommend chewing gums for improving oral health and eliminating bad breath. But do you know this comes with side effects? Chewing gum may not be as beneficial as people say. In fact, it may lead to many oral health issues. While normal chewing typically breaks down food into smaller bits that can be swallowed and digested easily. Chewing gum, on the other hand, is done just for the sake of chewing. 

Impact Of Chewing Gum

Most vulnerable are those who have temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders. Continuous gum chewing places an undue strain on your temporomandibular joints, muscles, and teeth, resulting in overstress, imbalance, and misalignment. This can result in one or both temporomandibular joints clicking or popping, headaches, jaw discomfort, and tooth breakage.

Gum Sugar Can Cause Tooth Decay

Gums have a lot of artificial flavourings and sugar. And it is widely known that sugar is dangerous for your teeth as it can cause cavities and tooth decay. Tooth decay begins when bacteria in your mouth convert sugar to acid. The acid eats away at your teeth's hard enamel surface, creating holes and paths for germs to infect your tooth's protective layer. So when you chew gums high in sugar, you are making your teeth prone to cavities and decay.

Also ReadDoes Chewing Gum Cause Wrinkles Around The Mouth? Explains This Research

Are There Any Advantages Of  Chewing Gum?

While chewing sugary gums may harm your teeth, sugar-free gum may yield certain benefits. The American Dental Association states that sugarless chewing gum contributes to reducing caries risk. This is when it is included in the regular oral care routine, in which you brush twice with fluoride toothpaste.

You can chew sugar-free gum that uses artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, erythritol, and maltitol, of course in moderation. According to the American Dental Association, unlike sugar, these artificial sweeteners are more likely to be non-carcinogenic as well. Since they are metabolised slowly or not at all by cancer-causing plaque bacteria. 

Chewing sugar-free gum increases salivation, which promotes oral health by cleaning away leftover food particles and neutralising acids created by bacteria in your mouth.

Also Read5 Signs You Are Having Too Much Sugar

Conclusion

The final answer is that certain chewing gums have some kind of benefit when it comes to oral health. However, this does not mean that one should replace their regular oral care routine with chewing gums. In order to have strong and healthy teeth, brushing and flossing is a must.

You should avoid chewing gum if you have jaw problems. If you have suffered from TMJ dysfunction or started to experience any clicking, popping or pain in your jaw, you shouldn’t chew gum. If these issues persist, immediately consult your dentist.

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