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Does Chewing Gum Damage Oral Health?

Woman placing gum in her mouthThere is quite a division between whether chewing gum is good or bad for your teeth and mouth. In order to properly answer this question, there are a few things that people should know about how chewing gum can affect both your teeth, mouth, and body.

Effects of Regularly Chewing Gum

  • Many brands of chewing gum contain artificial sweeteners, which can be potentially harmful.
  • Chewing gum may cause mercury to be released from mercury amalgam fillings.
  • Those people who chew gum regularly are less likely to have healthy diets, according to a study conducted in 2013.
  • Sugary chewing gum can cause tooth decay, enamel erosion, and dental cavities.

Many brands of sugar-free gum contain aspartame, which is an artificial sweetener. Aspartame may create formaldehyde in the body, which is a known carcinogen. A few of the other potential dangers of chewing gum include:

  • Tooth Deformities – Regularly chewing gum can cause excessive wear on the tooth enamel, which can eventually lead to changes in bite alignment. This may create a need for orthodontic care if not addressed.
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder – Your temporomandibular joint is where your jawbone attaches to your skull. If you chew gum habitually, you may start to notice muscle fatigue and weakness in this joint, putting you at risk for a TMJ disorder.
  • Dental Cavities – Most dentists recommend chewing sugar-free gum. However, if you choose to chew gum with sugar, you’re at an increased risk of tooth decay and dental cavities. Sugar-free gum containing Xylitol may even help to remove bacteria and plaque from the teeth.

Whether you chew gum or not, the best way to keep your mouth clean and fresh is to brush at least twice a day for two minutes at a time, floss daily, and visit Auburn Family Dental for a dental checkup at least every six months. To schedule your appointment, please contact Auburn Family Dental located here Wichita, Kansas.

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