There are lots of advertisement that encourage chewing sugar-free gum to help maintaining dental health. However, before answering this question one need to understand what is sugar-free gum?
It is a type of gum where a sweetener is used instead of sugar. The gum still contains flavours like normal gum.
A common used sweetener is Xylitol a natural sweetener and is found in some berries, fruit, vegetables and mushrooms. It also helps to prevent plaque bacteria sticking to the teeth
Chewing sugar-free gum encourage saliva production that help reducing bacterial acid attack on the teeth. Such low acidity cause causes dental decay. However, it is not a replacement to using dental brush and fluoride rich toothpaste.
The best time to chew sugar-free gum is after food and drink consumption for 20min. However, please remember chewing is not a replacement to teeth brushing and flossing.
And be careful with the young ones…especially children under the age of 7.
Can sugar-free gum help to protect against dental erosion?
Over the past few years there has been increasingly a problem with tooth wear and tooth erosion.
Dental erosion is caused by acids in the consumed food and drinks …things like fizzy drinks, fruit juice or it can be caused by gastric reflux.
The acid dissolve tooth minerals resulting in tooth wear, chipping and eventual break.
Sugar-free gum as above help us produce more saliva that can also help to reduce this type of acid attack. It takes the saliva about an hour to replace the minerals that the enamel has lost. Chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating or drinking can increase the flow of saliva and help replace the minerals more quickly.
In some cases, dental bonding will be needed to restore and protect worn teeth using composite veneers. Our specialist cosmetic dentist developed special techniques to manage teeth with similar problems.
How about Dry-Mouth & bad breath?
Patients with dry mouth suffer with reduced salivary flow that lead to dry mouth and halitosis (bad breath). Chewing sugar-free gum your mouth makes more saliva and the symptoms of dry mouth and bad breath may be reduced. However, in some cases saliva replacement therapy may be needed and seeing our dental hygienist on bad breath clinic help providing professional teeth cleaning and provide you with the best advice for individual cases.
Is sugar-free gum suitable for vegetarians
Some chewing gums can contain animal products like glycerine and are not suitable for vegetarians. However, most sugar-free gums now only contain a type of non-animal glycerine and are suitable for vegetarians. So please read the label and be sure of the gum contents.
What if I have dentures or braces?
People with certain types of dentures may find that sugar-free gum sticks to the teeth and palate of the denture. In cases of braces, it can be messy and you may elect not to chew gums.
What happens if I swallow the gum?
Swallowed gum will pass through your system like any other food, although it may take a little longer. There is no evidence that swallowing gum is harmful.
Can sugar-free gum whiten my teeth?
Some sugar-free chewing gums have a ‘whitening’ claim. Although these products cannot lighten the natural colour of your teeth, they may help to lessen any staining which could build-up on your teeth due to smoking, or drinking red wine or coffee. Professional teeth whitening London is the best technique to produce predictable results.
Should you have any question about this blog or any dental cosmetic questions, please contact our specialist dentist London. Drop us a line or call us on 02074864861