Many people have the habit of chewing gum, but have you ever worried if it’s damaging your teeth? While gum can freshen breath and improve focus, it’s important to understand the potential risks to your oral health.
First, let’s look at the ingredients in gum. The majority of chewing gum contains sugar, which can encourage gum disease and tooth damage. A better option for your dental health is sugar-free gum, which is currently offered by numerous manufacturers. Sugar-free gum commonly contains xylitol, a natural sweetener that will actually help prevent tooth decay. Xylitol works because it prevents the germs that cause cavities from growing and increases salivation, which helps to wash away toxic acids in the mouth.
Despite the advantages of sugar-free gum, chewing gum of any kind might harm your teeth & gums. One potential issue is the act of chewing itself, which can cause wear and tear on teeth over time. Chewing gum can also cause the jaw muscles to become overworked and lead to muscle fatigue or pain. Moreover, a TMJ condition, which can result in headaches, jaw pain, and trouble opening and closing the mouth, can be exacerbated by a habit of chewing gum frequently.
Another potential issue with gum chewing is the risk of accidentally swallowing it. While chewing gum in moderation is generally regarded healthy, ingesting excessive amounts can lead to digestive issues such bowel obstructions. It’s crucial to keep in mind that some gum variations, like sugar-free gum with sorbitol, can and will cause laxative effects if used in big amounts.
So, is chewing gum damaging your teeth? The answer is: it depends. While sugar-free gum can actually promote dental health, all types of gum carry potential risks to your teeth, gums, and jaw. The key is to enjoy gum in moderation and practice good oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your Nevada dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
Here are some suggestions for those who enjoy chewing gum to help reduce any unwanted effects:
1. Choose sugar-free gum with xylitol to promote dental health.
2. Avoid chewing gum for extended periods of time or constantly throughout the day.
3. Don’t chew gum if you have TMJ disorder or jaw pain.
4. Dispose of gum properly and avoid swallowing large amounts.
It’s also crucial to remember that using chewing gum is not a permanent replacement for good oral hygiene habits. While gum can freshen breath and improve focus, it should never replace brushing and flossing as the primary means of maintaining good oral health. Remember to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time, floss daily, and visit your Reno family dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.
Gum chewing can affect your teeth and gums in both positive and bad ways. All varieties of gum can harm teeth, contribute to jaw pain, and even create stomach issues if ingested in large amounts, even though sugar-free gum can help tooth health. The key is to enjoy gum in moderation and practice good oral hygiene habits to keep your teeth and gums healthy. By following these tips and visiting your Nevada dentist regularly, you can maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.