The chewing gum, Villain or friend of the oral health

Chewing gum shows more and more benefits for oral health. The sugar-free version of the candy is pointed by experts as a complement to the toothbrush and floss because, through friction, it helps in cleaning the teeth. That’s why, in those days when the hectic pace prevents good oral hygiene, chewing gum is a good option.

Most people who do this just to improve their breath do not know that, the chewing gum in addition to helping to eliminate the remains of food that remain on the surface of the teeth, stimulates salivary flow. This causes the risk of caries to be reduced.

The dentists explains that after meals, especially after the ingestion of sugars, the pH of the mouth drops rapidly (acid remains), which favors the development of caries. “The stimulus for salivary flow caused by the consumption of sugar-free gum after meals can neutralize oral pH,” he says.

However, Sigma reinforces that brushing, the use of mouthwash and dental floss are the most effective and key methods for oral hygiene. “Chewing gum is a tool for cleaning and should never replace toothbrush and floss.”

Fight against cavities

For those who remember the call of attention of the dentist and the parents when they saw a child chew gum, it is hard to believe that now it is considered even an ally in the fight against tooth decay. This is because chewing gum salivary flow increases up to 10 times, in response to gustatory taste stimuli and chewing mechanics.

According to Sigma, stimulated saliva contains more demineralizing potential, that is, it contains more bicarbonate, calcium and phosphate. “With a chemical composition different from the rest of saliva, the stimulated can replenish the minerals that are lost in the teeth daily, which makes them less susceptible to the development of caries,” he says.

Treatments

Some dentists decided to give in and use sugar-free gum for some treatments.

  • Xerostomia (total absence of saliva)
  • Bad breath: when the origin of the problem is related to the increase in the production of compounds that generate bad odor in the mouth, the increase in saliva is able to eliminate or reduce the problem.
  • Problems to open the mouth: chewing gum in this case can have a physiotherapeutic effect, facilitating rehabilitation and allowing the opening of the mouth normally.
  • Inflammation of the muscles of chewing: chewing gum can be beneficial to minimize inflammation and reduce edema, restoring muscle and helping in the recovery of jaw movements.
  • Bruxism: the use of chewing gum may be adequate to facilitate the reduction of periods of tension and stress that contribute to the habit of grinding teeth.