Is Chewing Gum Bad for Teeth?

There can be quite a refreshing and juicy feeling to opening a pack of minty chewing gum and munching on one. But, if you tend to chew gum on a regular basis, you may be wondering if this habit of yours can affect your oral health. 

Well, the answer isn't a definite yes or no. Chewing gum can help you keep your teeth clean, but it can also damage them. It all depends on the ingredients the chewing gum contains and how often you are doing it. 

First, the Pros: How Chewing Gum Can Help Clean Your Teeth

Chewing gum can actually help keep your teeth clean but only if it's a sugarless one. That's because chewing gum stimulates saliva production and that can help clean your teeth. When you eat, food particles tend to get stuck on the tooth enamel and saliva washes the acid that this debris can create. 

Keep in mind, though, that chewing sugarless gum can't replace proper oral hygiene that includes regular brushing and dentist appointments for preventive dentistry. 

The Cons: How Chewing Gum Can Affect Your Teeth

Here's how chewing too much chewing gum can affect your teeth: 

  • Bite Problems - Excessive chewing gum can wear out the enamel and affect your teeth's position. This can lead to bite problems in time that will require orthodontic treatment
  • TMJ Disorder - Regularly chewing gum can put too much pressure on your temporomandibular joint. This is the joint where the jaw connects to the skull. If you chew gum regularly, you may start noticing jaw muscle pain and fatigue and that lean lead to TMJ disorders in time. 
  • Tooth Decay - While sugarless chewing gum can help clean your teeth, sweetened ones will have the opposite effect. When you are chewing sweetened gum, you are basically bathing your teeth in sugar that will get stuck to the enamel and increase the risk of cavities. 
  • It Can Affect Dental Work - As mentioned above, chewing gum can put quite a bit of pressure on your teeth and jaw. And if you tend to do this on a regular basis and you also have some dental work like fillings or crown, it may affect them. Moreover, if you are wearing braces, certain types of chewing gum may cause the brackets to loosen and fall. 

So, What's the Verdict? 

Just as with most things in life, moderation is key. Chewing sugarless gum for a few minutes after a meal can help keep your teeth clean if it's combined with proper dental hygiene. Chewing too much sweetened gum can damage the enamel, lead to tooth decay or create bite problems. 

If you are unhappy with your oral health, then at Great Bay Orthodontics we can help you achieve the beautiful and healthy smile you always wanted. From traditional braces to Invisalign, we can cover any orthodontic need. 

Feel free to get in touch with us to book your appointment

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