Unless it gets stuck on the bottom of your shoe, chewing gum has a fairly good reputation. While it is used as a breath freshener for some, others chew gum as a nervous habit or to relieve stress. There are even reports that chewing gum can improve your concentration and focus in an academic setting.
What about chewing gum and your dental health? The truth is, there are pros and cons. However, if you choose the right type of gum and you use it in moderation, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Learn the pros and cons of chewing gum to make sure you are boosting your smile and not causing harm to your oral health.
Pros: There are really many advantages to popping a stick of gum in your mouth, especially after snacking or meals. The act of chewing gum increases saliva production, which is essential for rinsing away food debris and bacteria as well as neutralizing the acids in your mouth after eating or drinking. Its sticky nature also helps to remove plaque along your tooth surfaces and gum line. Gum is an excellent choice if you don’t have a toothbrush handy and you need to clean your teeth and freshen your breath on the go. Just make sure you choose sugar-free gum to reap the full benefits.
Cons: Your teeth will suffer more harm than good if you choose sugared gum, as you are essentially sticking those bad sugars in all kinds of crevices every time you bite down. Another downfall to chewing gum is jaw problems. People who excessively chew gum throughout the day may find that their jaw gets sore, stiff or painful. If this is something you experience, you may want to cut back on your chewing gum habit to give your jaw muscles a break. If not, you may experience TMD symptoms or even headaches caused by too much jaw action.
Are you surprised to learn that chewing sugarless gum has so many benefits to your dental health? From cavity prevention to bad breath, you can feel good about your choice to chew gum today. There are even gum options that claim to whiten your teeth as you chomp.