Do you have a habit of chewing on gum throughout the day? If so, you're likely wondering if this habit is actually harmful to your teeth. Here is what you need to know about using this chewy breath freshener on a regular basis.
Chewing Gum Can Prevent Tooth Decay
One thing to ask yourself is when you chew gum. If you are using it as a way to curb your appetite between meals, then chewing gum could be preventing you from eating sugary foods that are going to cause tooth decay over time. Your habit of gum chewing could actually be helping you stay away from harmful foods as a result. If you chew gum after meals, the gum is actually going to help neutralize the acids left behind in your mouth from your food. This can make chewing gum a good substitute for brushing after a meal when you are out and about, but still not replace the process of brushing your teeth twice a day.
Chewing Gum Brands Are Recommended By The ADA
You should put some thought into what kind of gum you are chewing if you do it regularly. You may not be aware that there are some chewing gum brands that have been approved by the ADA, which should have a small seal on the package. If you see the seal, it means the gum has undergone clinical testing and been given approval from actual dentists. This is due to some chewing gums using artificial sweeteners that will not cause tooth decay, such as Xylitol and aspartame.
If your favorite brand is not ADA approved, make sure that it is one that does not contain sugar. It may seem obvious, but those gums packed with sugar are going to cause tooth decay, even if you are chewing it after meals.
Chewing Gum Can Cause Jaw Pain And Headaches
It's important to know when your chewing gum habit is actually causing problems. If you frequently experience headaches, it could be caused by the chewing motion that you are constantly doing. It would be in your best interest to cut back on the gum chewing and see if it causes any sort of improvement. Jaw pain is also associated with frequent gum chewing, which can have a lasting effect during the day even after you spit out the gum.
Talk with a general dentist if you have questions on the impact of chewing gum on your oral health.