Ask a Dentist

October 1, 2021

Q: Is Chewing Gum Helpful Or Harmful?

Woman creating a bubble with chewing gum

Sorry to burst your bubble, but did you know not all chewing gum is created equal? Chewing gum has been around since ancient times when it was made from tree sap. Today, the base used for most gum products is a blend of synthetic materials - elastomers, resins and waxes.

But is chewing gum good for you? While gum with sugar increases the risk of caries, chewing on sugar-free gum can actually prevent cavities, reduce plaque acid and strengthen teeth.

Oral Benefits Of Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugarless gum can protect your teeth and gums between meals when it might not be possible to brush your teeth. According to the Oral Health Foundation, your teeth are most vulnerable to acid attack after each meal. 

The acid is produced by plaque bacteria, along with the sugars in our food and drink, and it slowly dissolves away the enamel and dentin of the tooth which results in a cavity. You can reduce this acid attack by chewing sugar-free gum shortly after eating (make sure to limit how long you chew for so you don’t get muscle fatigue or soreness in your jaw, about 20 minutes is the maximum). This will help your mouth create more saliva to cancel out the acid.

In addition, dry mouth and bad breath are often caused by a lack of saliva. When you chew sugar-free gum, the extra saliva in your mouth reduces your chances of getting these conditions.

Does Chewing Gum Replace Brushing?

No, it doesn’t. You can chew sugar-free gum on top of your daily brushing and flossing, but it’s not a substitute for either. We recommend brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day to clean plaque from between your teeth.

If you have any questions about sugar-free chewing gum or how it can help give your oral health a boost, let our wonderful Winnipeg dental team at Dental Image Therapy Centres know. Our dentists and dental hygienists can provide you more information and advise you about how sugar-free gum can benefit you as well as give you other tips to improve your dental health.

Dental Image Therapy Centres is conveniently located at Garden City Shopping Centre and St. Vital Centre. It only takes a few minutes to schedule an appointment, so book a visit with us today!

Book Your Next Dental Appointment Today

Maybe it's time for your and your family's regular checkup and cleaning, you have a toothache or you need to get your treatment plan going - whatever the reason, we're here to help you get your confident smile. Whether you're a new patient or a returning friend, we can't wait to see you at your next appointment at either of our Winnipeg clinics!

Book Now