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28Nov2012

Chewing Sugarless Gum Can Help Prevent Cavities

THERE ARE LOTS OF REASONS people chew gum. For some, perhaps it’s just a long-standing habit. But ever since a man named Thomas Adams invented chewing gum back in 1870 it’s been used to freshen breath and relieve nervousness too.

But did you know…

Chewing Sugarless Gum Can Help Prevent Cavities!

That’s right. Chewing sugarless gum can actually help fight cavities. Here are some facts:

1. Gum chewing stimulates saliva production which is your mouth’s natural cleaning and buffering agent—neutralizing acids released by the bacteria in plaque!

2. Gum chewing helps wash away food particles when brushing and flossing aren’t convenient.

3. For those who don’t naturally produce sufficient salivary flow, dry mouth can create lots of oral health problems. Chewing a piece of sugarless gum for 10 minutes each waking hour for about two weeks can help remedy the problem.

4. The sweetener Xylitol, used in many sugarless gums, inhibits the growth of particular kinds of bacteria known to cause cavities. Xylitol also makes it more difficult for bacteria to stick to your teeth.

Here’s a related message from the University of Nebraska Medical Center:

And Don’t Forget…

Brands of gum containing sugar can be harmful to your teeth. Although we don’t recommend it, if you absolutely prefer gum containing natural sugar rather than artificial sweeteners, chew it for at least 15 to 20 minutes so that your saliva can rinse away the sugar residue once you’ve chewed out all the sugar.

Remember, chewing gum does NOT replace regular brushing and flossing!

If you have any questions about this for our team, be sure to ask us! We love visiting about your oral health. You can also comment below and we’ll get right back to you, or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Thanks for the trust you place in our practice. We appreciate you.

Discussion

2 responses to "Chewing Sugarless Gum Can Help Prevent Cavities"

  • Diane A Fagen says:

    Enjoy your sugarless gum and other sweets, but please be aware that they may contain xylitol, which can cause illness and death in your pets.

    In 2006, an article was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association that described illness and fatalities in dogs who have eaten products that contain xylitol. Since then, the ASPCA Poison Control hotline has tracked this issue, and many more incidents of dog (and other pet) illness and death have been reported. PLEASE BE CAREFUL with your xylitol-containing products, and keep them away from your animals.

    You can access a short list of foods that you should not feed your pet using this link:
    https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/foods-to-avoid.aspx

  • Schmidt DDS says:

    Thanks again Diane. You’re absolutely right, just because something is safe for human consumption doesn’t mean it’s safe for our family pets! And as responsible pet owners we are always looking out for their best interest.

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