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While candy is undoubtedly considered bad for your dental health, one type of “candy” can actually improve your oral hygiene. It’s sugar-free chewing gum! Does chewing gum really help to clean your mouth? While most gum is considered bad for teeth because of its sugar content that causes tooth decay, tooth erosion and other types of oral harm that eventually result in painful diseases. But if there’s no sugar in your chewing gum, not only are you safe from any of these dental issues, but you can also reap the benefits offered by sugar-free gums.
Stimulation of Salivary Glands
The primary reason why chewing gum is healthy for teeth is that it stimulates your salivary glands. Saliva in our mouth is vital to confront the harmful bacteria. By flushing the food and sugar particles from our mouth into the digestive system, it prevents them from staying and forming biofilms that cause plaque and trigger the development of cavities. As a result, creation of saliva is crucial to maintaining our oral health. Thus, chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help to clean your mouth, by using extra saliva production to wipe out any food particles that happen to stay in your mouth.
Strengthening the Immune system
Chewing gum can also helps strengthen your immune system and safeguarding your mouth from any infections. According to researchers, the simple practice of chewing enhances the protective function of your immune system and promotes the formation of Th17 cells. These cells are fundamental to fighting dental infections. Though there are other body areas like skin that use these cells, they require a specific type of bacteria to get past a certain barrier before creating T-cells which in turn fights the cavities. In case of the mouth, all necessary information is available to the immune system to confront and remove most oral infections. Through experiments using mice of different ages, researchers also revealed that as an individual age, his immune system actively learns the patterns of bacterial infection over time and functions more proactively in subsequent cases.
Some sugar-free gums also contain special milk protein that provides minerals vital to repairing your teeth. Certain other ingredients such as the CPP-APP can effectively slow down the tooth decay process. Until a cavity develops, the process of tooth decay is reversible. Such ingredients can thus help to recover the tooth structure, while they help to clean your mouth.
Don’t Get too Excited
While chewing gum has benefits, and can help to clean your mouth, it doesn’t replace taking proper care of your teeth, and having a regular dental cleaning. Be sure to visit your local dentist at least once every six months, and continue to brush and floss your teeth regularly. It’s still important to maintain oral hygiene!
Call our Memphis, Jackson, Oakland or Bartlett dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.