Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chewing Gum, Good or Bad?

Is chewing gum bad for your teeth? Should I let my child chew gum?

To get right to the point, chewing gum is ok! In fact, there are studies that indicate chewing gum stimulates salivary flow and inhibits the bacteria that cause tooth decay. This is especially useful when chewed right after a meal. Of course, brushing right after would be the best, but we do not always have a toothbrush and paste at the local steak house.

The only case where I would suggest no gum are young children that might choke on the wad of gum. I would also suggest a teenager who has bad TMJ problems to lay off the constant chewing of gum so as not to aggravate the problem.

Of course, I would advise sugarless gum, that's a no brainer. In fact, gum with the artificial sweetener Xylitol* has been shown to be particularly beneficial. Trident with Recaldent (casein phosphopeptide), which is a milk based protein, seems to help in the remineralization process to prevent decay.

So, yes, enjoy that (sugarless) gum!

*Here is a link to the AAPD Statement on Xylitol Gum
**Oh, do not give Xylitol to dogs, it can make them very sick.

37 comments:

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Dental Care said...

Its always been a fun to read your posts. I always wait for your updates. Now i am waiting for the next one to come.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Very good info. Just FYI, it's "sugarless" not "surgerless".

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Ha!

Dental Scarsdale said...

Hey, this is Robert. Just stumbled upon your blog to find quite informative stuffs out here ! Chewing sugar-free gums especially after the meals decreases the level of cavity-causing bacteria bullet thus preventing plaque formation. The sorbitolbased sugar-free gum, taken after meals, also reduces cases of dental caries. Thanks for your informatons. Will visit your blog soon for more such informations.

Gilbert Dentists said...

Good job on sharing the information!

Torunn Birkeland, Dentist said...

I agree with you on the fact that chewing gum is a great mouth cleanser after a meal! There are also chewing gums containing fluoride, this can be a good thing for kids or adults who have a problem with caries activity. Xylitol is actually not an artificial sweetener (even though it's produced in large quantites by the industry). It's a natural sugar substitue and adds volum and bulk to it's products. The "Turku Sugar Studies" are classic and interesting reading and does absolutely support using xylitol in chewing gum and other products. But as you say, it seems like the effect of chewing, and therefore the increased salivary flow, is more likely to give the caries preventive effect.
Great topic, great site! I'll remember to keep the chewing gums away from dogs.. :)

rocklin dentist said...

This is nice information you posted. Chewing gum is a big help after a meal because it helps reduce the odor and some stuff.

Los Angeles Invisalign said...

This is really a great article you posted here. I am now aware that gums aren't bad for the teeth. Well, that is if it's sugarless. Thank you for the great info.

Anonymous said...

so interesting and useful blog. thank you so much, dr. brandon. i've found answers to my questions. thank you!!!
sandy

Jane said...

The only thing that concerns me about chewing gum is something my high school science teacher once told me. He said that by chewing something you are readying your stomach to cope with food and stimulating stomach acids which then arent used. He probably said it in a more scientific way than this but you get the gist.

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Dentist In Cleveland said...

Thanks for the information! You did a great job. I don't really know what TMJ is however.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

TMJ=Tempormandibular Joint Disorder

Chris said...

Thanks for the blog posting.
I enjoy chewing gum for fresh breath. It certainly helps keep it that way. I don't always have my tooth brush and paste with me, and I know sugar-free gum helps!

phoenix dentist said...

Thank goodness. I love chewing gum. It helps freshen the breath.

Anonymous said...

Love this Dr. Brandon! I always look forward to your posts! :)

dental student said...

thank you for starting out this website. really helpful.

dental student said...

thank u for the website. great help.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Oh, with Braces, -best to avoid gum. -However, most folks can manage pretty well with it.

Potter said...

Chewing gum must be bad for the TMJ as it's overuse of the muscles and must lead to dsic abrasion and ultimately perforation.Everything in moderastion I guess. I have ageneral site for dental education if you are interested; www.dental-help-and-advice.com

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Cosmetic Dentist said...

Nice article! It's easy to read and informative at the same time.

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Dental Care said...

I'm reading your blog on regular basic, and just want to say you doing really grate job, anyway I personally doesn't like to chew any kind gum no matter how much benefit I'm getting from it!@

Endodontics specialist said...

Chewing gums are bad and good too. Thanks for sharing the information.

Jeffrey said...

Nice post, thank you for sharing! I agree, chewing gum at the very least helps stimulate saliva flow, keeping bacteria from settling on or around the teeth and gum area.

rocklin dentist said...

Thanks for this. Very good information! Chewing gum is a great mouth cleanser after a meal!

Cosmetic Dentists Grants Pass said...

I think Xylitol also relieves bad breath right? So I'd let my kids chew sugarless gum from now on :) I've always prohibited them from doing so!

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Western Dental said...

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Dental Marketing Options said...

While I enjoyed the post (gum is a past time I'm rather fond of) my favorite part had to be reading the "**Oh, do not give Xylitol to dogs, it can make them very sick."
It makes me wonder what funny story led to that conclusion. :) (Not for the dog I'd assume, :( poor puppy, but still).

martha said...

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Dentist in Orange said...

Chewing gum is also not advisable as a cure for bad breath because it only masks the smell but doesn't really treat it. You need to determine the source of your bad breath to treat it effectively.

melissa beckman said...

Coming from the viewpoint of a mother with young children, I always take the advice of my pediatric dentist. Dr. Boyd of Dentistry for Children in Chicago (great pediatric dentist in chicago by the way) always says to limit the amount of sugary foods and snacks because of how sugar reacts with saliva. I would say sugary chewing gum is bad, and I do not let my little girl have it.

His website is http://www.dentistry4children.net if anyone is looking for a great Chicago based pediatric dentist.

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Thanks doc this answers my question. A special thanks for the straight answer. Some experts feel that they have to go round the bush before they can answer a question.

Dental Cosmetic said...

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