How Does Gum Chewing Prevent Tooth Decay?

Gum prevents tooth decay

Do you have a gummy smile? This time, we’re not referring to your gums!

If you’re one to chew (on sugar-free gum, that is), then you might be pleasantly surprised to know that you’re doing something very good for your teeth. In fact, regular sugar-free gum chewing is a proven way to help protect your precious teeth from cavities.

The power of the chew…

So, you may be wondering, how in the world does chewing sugarless gum help to prevent tooth decay? Well, it does so essentially by boosting your saliva production – and our saliva actually works as a strong defense against tooth decay!

But how? Our downtown Toronto dentist will tell you how:
  • Saliva contains calcium and phosphate – minerals that actually help to strengthen tooth enamel that have lost these minerals and require remineralization to prevent further lost tooth structure.
  • Both the act of chewing gum and saliva help to wash away particles of food and bacteria from the surfaces of the teeth. This is obviously incomparable to brushing and flossing, but it surely doesn’t hurt to chew some sugarless gum in-between meals at work or school!
  • Saliva also helps to neutralize acidity in the mouth with molecules referred to as “buffers”. With bacterial acids being primarily to blame for tooth decay, this is really something we can thank saliva for.

… so chew, chew, chew to your heart’s content! (but of course, give your jaw a break as necessary – especially if you suffer from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)).

How else can I protect my smile from tooth decay?

The best way to prevent cavities are to brush twice a day for two full minutes (that’s 160 seconds!), and floss once daily. Also, try your best to limit your intake of foods and beverages that are high in sugar. Diet also plays a fundamental role in determining your risk for tooth decay. And finally, see your dentist and hygienist for routine check-ups and cleanings every 6 months at the least.

Happy chewing from our team at Asleep for Dentistry!