Can sugar-free chewing gum prevent tooth decay?

Tooth decay is the most common dental problem among adults in the UK. By following a strict oral hygiene routine, you are protecting your teeth as much as possible from potential decay.

You may have heard many different theories about how to prevent tooth decay but a lot of them haven’t been proved. A recent study has looked into the ability of sugar-free chewing gum in preventing tooth decay.

What causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is caused by acid attacks that weaken the enamel on the teeth. Once enamel has been destroyed, it cannot repair itself. An acid attack occurs when you eat or drink something with high-sugar or high-carbohydrate. The high acidity of these foods start to react with the bacteria in the mouth and will begin eroding the teeth. When your teeth are under an acid attack regularly, decay will start to occur.

How does sugar-free chewing gum help?

A new study has shown that chewing sugar-free gum for twenty minutes after every meal can significantly reduce your chance of developing tooth decay. Chewing the gum will help to neutralise the acidity levels in the mouth. It also helps to remove food particles that have been left between teeth which also keeps your breath fresh throughout the day.

Chewing gum also increases the amount of saliva that is created in the mouth. Saliva is very beneficial to oral health including removing food debris, neutralising acids and removing bacteria. Saliva also contains calcium, fluoride and phosphates that all contribute to strengthening the enamel of the teeth.

Keep up a good oral hygiene routine

Chewing sugar-free gum is not a replacement for your current oral hygiene care. It is just an extra precautionary measure. It will not replace the benefits of brushing, flossing and rinsing. To keep your teeth as healthy as possible, you must brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, for two minutes each time. It is also important to clean in between your teeth with dental floss once per day. We would also recommend you to use mouthwash to rinse your mouth after brushing.

Visit the dentist regularly

The best way to ensure your teeth are kept healthy and strong is to visit the dentist regularly. They will be able to spot any signs of potential problems with your teeth and repair them before it becomes a bigger problem. Our dentists will also be able to offer you valuable advice on looking after your teeth.

If you would like to book an appointment with Gwersyllt Dental Care, or register as a new patient, please call us on 01978 757 409.