Chewing gum is a habit that many people enjoy on a daily basis. Some people enjoy chewing gum for its tasty flavors, while others chew it out of habit or as a means of breaking a bad habit (e.g. smoking or biting fingernails). There is another benefit to this habit that may sound too good to be true: chewing gum can help prevent cavities from developing inside the mouth. Right now may be the perfect time to pick up this beneficial habit.
To truly understand how chewing gum can prevent cavities, it is important to understand your mouth. Every day there are millions of bacteria that call your mouth their home. These bacteria are present to help break down particles that are left behind after eating and drinking. Because of the high number of bacteria present inside the mouth, they can do a great deal of damage in a short amount of time. As the bacteria work to break down particles, they begin producing acids to help their endeavors. When acid is left on the surfaces of the teeth, it will eat tiny holes in the enamel, known as cavities.
One of the most overlooked element of oral health is saliva production. Saliva is necessary to keep the mouth moist and to help wash away food and drink particles as well as the bacteria that congregate in the mouth. A dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but it provides an ideal atmosphere for bacteria to cling to the teeth and wreak havoc on their health. This is where chewing gum comes in. Chewing gum helps to stimulate the production of saliva, thus helping to prevent acid producing-bacteria to cause cavities to develop. It is essential that you choose a sugar-free option when chewing gum. Gum that is laden with sugar only feeds the bacteria inside the mouth by leaving sugary deposits in the teeth and at the gum line. Sugar free gum can provide the taste you desire while preventing cavities from developing.