According to LifeTips, you “can actually chew your way to good health with sugarless gum”. Note the term “sugarless” in that quotation. This is the only sort of chewing gum that will give any benefits because the sugar content in standard gum is so high as to actually encourage decay.
When you are using sugar free gum, however, it comes without those harmful ingredients. It is particularly useful after eating, but is good at all times because it:
- Stimulates saliva production – this reduces the acidity of the mouth (which creates an automatic and natural buffer between the enamel on the teeth and any food materials left in the mouth after eating or drinking), and
- Causes cleansing – chewing gum at any time also helps the mouth to “self cleanse” because the compression of the teeth and gums can often force any trapped materials to exit the tissue and leave the mouth for the stomach.
Of course, sugar free gum is not always the best for everyone. For example, the following people are advised against chewing gum at all:
- Those with prosthesis such as dentures or partials, and those with braces – the stickiness of gum can cause it to become entangled with these devices and can lead to harm and problems. Some people have even yanked out their partials or pulled a single brace from a tooth due to chewing gum.
- Those with TMD (temporomandibular disorder) – this problem with the jaw can be exacerbated or heavily irritate by the repetitive movement of the jaw while chewing gum. It will also fatigue the supporting muscles and make the TMJ pain and discomfort more pronounced. There is also too much wear and tear put upon already problematic tissue and discs when you chew gum with TMJ symptoms.
Though it is recommended that people who want to freshen their breath, improve digestion, and keep their mouths in top condition use sugar free gum after every meal (and particularly if they don’t have a chance to brush their teeth) it is not for everyone. Instead, it is best to consult with a dentist about using gum to improve oral conditions, and then following that advice.
If you can chew sugarless gum after meals, also try to use those that have any dental benefits. There are tooth whitening gums, hydrating gums, and other helpful remedies that can become a part of your oral care program.