Sugarless Gum Can Help Oral HealthFriday, March 6th, 2015, 3:33 pm
Chewing sugarless gum that is sweetened with xylitol can actually help your oral health. It sounds too good to be true. A sweetener that is lower in calories than sugar and helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but this is exactly what xylitol can do! When this sweetener is combined with the scrubbing action caused by chewing gum, it is a win-win for your smile.
Tooth decay and gum disease begin with sugar. The bacteria that live in your mouth consume the sugar, multiply and make acids that eat away the enamel of the teeth. These bacteria also colonize our gums and cause gum disease. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that the oral bacteria cannot digest and it helps maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth. Acid levels fall and without sugar to feed on, the number of bacteria are reduced – in some studies by as much as 90%.
Using xylitol sweetened products over time can actually change the quality of the oral bacteria in your saliva — with fewer of the bad bacteria that cause disease and an increase in the good bacteria that help maintain good oral health. Saliva is important in oral health because it helps wash away debris and components in saliva help to harden tooth enamel that has been weakened by acids.
Chewing sugarless gum will never replace brushing and flossing for good oral health. However, we all have those times when we just can’t brush. Chewing sugarless gum following a meal or especially after eating or drinking something sugary or acidic (like soft drinks) can make a measurable difference in the health of your smile. If you have extensive dental work you can look for brands that are designed to avoid sticking to your dental restorations.
Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today to find out more about protecting your oral health and maintaining a beautiful smile for life. We can be reached at 706-391-8777.