Should You Chew Gum?
First of all, it does depend upon what gum you choose to chew. If it is sugarless and has the ADA seal on it, then we recommend that yes, you should chew gum. Why? Chewing gum stimulates the salivary glands. This is important because saliva contains antibodies as well as providing more calcium and phosphate which helps strengthen tooth enamel. The extra saliva also aids in washing away food and other debris in your mouth. Ultimately this helps prevent tooth decay. Chewing gum is a very handy weapon to keep your breath fresh, teeth strong and mouth free of the acids and bacteria that lead to tooth decay.
Chewing gum does not replace brushing your teeth. Chewing gum is an adjunct to brushing, it is not a substitute.
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a common condition that happens when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. Xerostomia can cause bad breath and, eventually, tooth decay. There are many pharmaceuticals that cause xerostomia, such as most psychiatric drugs, and many antihypertensives. In this day of processed food and quick deliveries we no longer have the smells of the kitchen making our mouths water. We don’t experience fresh cooked odors and scents that trigger the release of saliva in anticipation of aiding the chewing and digestion of food.
Are there drawbacks? Chewing too long can cause jaw issues. You are definitely made and equipped to chew, but if you start to experience any clicking, popping, or pain in your jaw, stop! You should limit your chewing to 20 minutes per day.