Does Chewing Gum Hurt or Help Your Teeth?

Does Chewing Gum Hurt or Help Your Teeth?

According to Healthline, a popular belief is that chewing gum can strengthen the muscles in your mouth. In doing so, many people feel that chewing gum can tone the jawline. Although most of the chewing muscles are in the cheeks and neck, is it possible for chewing gum to chisel out a double chin?

Chewing gum is a contentious issue when it comes to overall health in general. It is linked to several gastrointestinal issues. It may pull the muscles in your mouth and cause gum inflammation. It can also break your teeth if you take a hard bite.

How is Chewing Gum Linked to Oral Care?

Sugarless chewing gum may help reduce cavities. This is most likely to occur when chewing gum is added to a regular home oral care routine.  As effective as toothpaste and dental floss are, chewing gum works. Chewing gum increases salivary flow and the stimulation of oral taste receptors.

The physical action of chewing gum increases your jaw’s activity rate. This activity can have any of the following unexpected benefits:

  • Increased protection against oral bacteria
  • Strengthening teeth
  • Faster food processing
  • Fresher breath
  • Easier swallowing function
  • Nicotine resistance – to help stop smoking
  • Dislodging a trapped object or particle in your gums
  • Lifting hard tartar off your teeth
  • Strengthening tooth enamel
  • Neutralising acid
  • Lowering tooth sensitivity
  • Reducing risks of gum disease

Which Chewing Gum Should You Chew?

Not all chewing gums are the same. There are two main types of chewing gum available on the market:

Sugar-free Chewing Gum

If chewing gum has less than 0,5 grams of sugar per serving, it can be classified as sugar-free. As a substitute for sugar, this type of chewing comprises of the following high-intensity sweeteners:

  • Acesulfame-K
  • Aspartame
  • Neotame
  • Saccharin
  • Sucralose
  • Stevia
  • Erythritol
  • Isomalt
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol

Compared to sugar, these sweeteners take longer for your body to process. They also carry fewer calories than sugar-containing gum. The flavours can still trigger your mouth to release saliva and stimulate your taste receptors. But the lack of sugar helps limit the other effects of consuming sugar.

Sugar-Containing Chewing Gum

This type of chewing gum is made up of a significant amount of sucrose. Sucrose is a fermentable carbohydrate. The presence of carbohydrates in your mouth can stimulate oral bacteria that work to break sugar down.

This process can produce a layer of dental film and acid on your tooth enamel. Having this on your teeth can erode your tooth enamel and weaken it. The more you chew gum with sugar, the faster your tooth enamel will break down. Furthermore, if you chew sugar-containing gum after eating, the undesirable effects on your teeth are worsened.

Chewing gum containing acids for flavouring may lower your plaque PH levels, which can lead to:

  • Enamel demineralization
  • Cavity lesions
  • Enamel erosion

Can Chewing Hurt You?

Did you know that you can chew gum so much that you hurt your mouth?

Excessive gum chewing can overwork and strain your facial muscles. This can lead to pain, tightness, and headaches.

It can also cause any of the following dental issues:

  • Jaw clicking.
  • Jaw popping.
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) injury.

Chewing gum can both aid and damage your teeth. This depends on which gum you chew, how often you chew gum and how long you keep chewing. It may not be worth chewing gum so much that you need a painkiller for a temple headache or a chiropractor to crack your jaw into place!

It’s also safe to say that chewing gum might not do much to tone your jawline!

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