Debunking Dental Myths: Chewing Gum for Teeth Cleaning

Chewing Gum for Teeth Cleaning

Chewing Gum for Teeth Cleaning

Myths and misconceptions often abound in oral health, especially regarding unconventional methods like chewing gum. Gum, particularly sugar-free varieties, has been debated concerning its impact on tooth decay, enamel health, and gum condition. Let’s delve into the facts and debunk the myths surrounding gum for teeth cleaning and dental hygiene.

Understanding Chewing Gum and Oral Health

Gum is a good oral hygiene habit. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which helps neutralise acids in the mouth and wash away food particles and bacteria. This increased saliva flow helps keep your mouth healthy by reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

Debunking Myth 1: Chewing Gum Causes Tooth Decay

One of the biggest myths is that gum causes tooth erosion. But this is not entirely true, especially with sugar-free gum. Sugar is the main culprit in tooth decay because oral bacteria feed on sugars and produce acids that erode tooth enamel. Sugar-free gum, on the other hand, contains alternative sweeteners like xylitol that don’t contribute to tooth erosion. Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help stimulate saliva flow, which can help neutralise acids and reduce the risk of cavities.

Myth 2: Chewing Gum Damages Tooth Enamel

Gum damaging tooth enamel is a myth. Saliva stimulated by gum chewing helps to remineralise enamel and protect teeth from acids in food and drinks. Sugar-free gums, especially those with xylitol, can enhance this protective effect by stimulating saliva production without exposing teeth to harmful sugars.

Myth 3: Chewing Gum Increases Risk of Gum Disease

Contrary to most people, chewing sugar-free gum can help prevent gum infection. It’s often linked to poor oral hygiene and plaque and bacteria buildup along the gumline. Gum can complement regular cleaning and flossing routines by stimulating saliva production, which helps to wash away debris and bacteria, thus reducing the risk of gum disease.

Do dentists recommend gum?

Yes, dentists recommend gum, especially sugar-free gum, as part of good oral hygiene practices.

Can gums help with teeth whitening?

Chewing gum itself is not a method for teeth whitening. Gum helps with mouth health by stimulating saliva production, which can help keep teeth clean and reduce plaque buildup. However, some gums on the market claim to have whitening effects because of added ingredients like baking soda or activated charcoal. These claims are often based on the abrasive nature of these ingredients, which can help remove surface stains from teeth over time.

Note that these gums may provide some minor whitening effects but are not a substitute for professional teeth whitening done by dentists.

Does chewing gum help with dental hygiene?

Chewing Gum for Teeth Cleaning

Yes, chewing sugar-free/sugarless gum can help with dental hygiene in many ways:

Saliva Production: Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which helps to neutralise acids in the mouth. Saliva contains minerals like calcium and phosphate, which help to remineralise tooth enamel, reducing the risk of tooth decay.

Reduces Dry Mouth: Saliva is important for oral health because it is used to wash away food particles and neutralise acids produced by bacteria. Chewing gum can help alleviate dry mouth by stimulating saliva flow, which helps keep the mouth moist and reduces bad breath.

Xylitol Content: Sugar-free gums often contain xylitol, a sugar alcohol that has been proven to inhibit the growth of oral bacteria. This can help reduce plaque formation and decrease the risk of cavities.

Breath Fresh: Chewing gum increases saliva flow, which can help wash away food particles and bacteria that cause bad breath.

But remember, chewing gum should not replace regular brushing and flossing. It should be seen as a complement to oral hygiene practices, not a substitute. While sugar-free gums are beneficial, gums with sugar can cause tooth decay if chewed frequently. So, sugar-free gum is recommended for healthy teeth and gums.

What is the best chewing gum to keep your teeth clean?

Choose sugar-free types that carry the ‘oral health foundation approved’ Seal of Acceptance for oral health benefits when chewing gum.

These gums are tested, proven safe, and effective in reducing cavities and promoting oral health. Chew gum after meals when more saliva production decreases to keep your mouth clean and fresh throughout the day.

In the UK, you can get the counters like:

  • Peppersmith Sugar-Free Gum
  • Extra Sugar-Free Gum
  • Airways Sugar-Free Gum

Get Teeth Cleaning Advice with Fulham Road Dental

Chewing Gum for Teeth Cleaning

Sugar-free chewing gums can be part of your oral hygiene routine. By busting the myths surrounding their use, we highlight their benefits in promoting saliva production, reducing the risk of holes and diseases, and keeping your breath fresher.

We strongly advise that gum shouldn’t be a substitute for proper oral care. Please visit us and keep your smile shining with one of our Fulham Road Dental dentists. We’ll give you bespoke advice and care to keep you healthy. Whether you need check-ups, oral hygiene advice, or treatments, we’ll get to know you and your dental needs.