Why Your Dentist May Recommend That You Chew Gum
There are many ways to improve the health of your teeth and gums. Some of these healthy practices can be easily added to your daily routine. One of the tooth-healthy measures that you can adopt is chewing gum. Here are a few reasons why your dentist is likely to recommend that you chew gum regularly.
Gum Cleans Your Teeth
Chewing gum mechanically pulls debris from your teeth. The gum sticks to bacteria and bits of food that have been left in the mouth. As you chew, the dislodged material remains caught in the gum or is swallowed. The cleaner your teeth, the less likely they are to suffer decay. Dental decay is caused by the presence of acids in the mouth.
Oral acids are produced by bacteria as they digest the carbohydrates in the particles of food left in the mouth after meals and snacks. As the bacteria and their food source are removed, there is less acid in the mouth, and the teeth remain healthier. Additionally, the timely removal of dental plaque helps reduce the amount of tartar buildup in the mouth. When left undisturbed for lengthy periods, plaque hardens into the tartar.
Gum Encourages the Production of Saliva
The action of chewing stimulates the salivary glands, causing them to release copious amounts of saliva. The saliva keeps the mouth moist and dilutes the oral acids, making them less potent. Dry mouth is associated with a higher incidence of decay. Thus, a healthy flow of saliva plays a significant role in dental health.
Gum Freshens Your Breath
Many people use mouthwash to freshen their breath. These mouth rinses can help rinse the teeth and soft tissues to dislodge food particles. Additionally, their scent can help mask food-based odors. Still, some mouth rinses contain alcohol, which can dry out the soft tissues of the mouth. Also, keeping mouthwash on hand may be inconvenient.
Gum helps hydrate the mouth while freshening the breath. Flavors, such as mint and cinnamon, can leave a lasting fresh fragrance. Additionally, ingredients, such as cinnamaldehydes, have antibacterial qualities that can reduce the number of harmful oral bacteria.
Gum Can Help Reduce Nicotine Cravings
Smokers have an increased risk of tooth decay, tooth loss, and periodontal disease. Chewing gum can help reduce the desire to smoke. The act of chewing gum keeps your mouth occupied, offers rewarding flavor, and helps you release nervous energy. As a result, smokers may use gum to overcome the urge to smoke.
To learn more about the positive effects of chewing gum, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.