Gum Chewing: Harmful or Helpful?

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Did you know that some gum has earned the ADA’s seal of approval? Does that mean that chewing gum is good for your teeth? Should you add chewing gum to your daily routine?

In reality, gum, even with the ADA’s seal of approval, can be good and bad for your teeth. When you eat, acids form from leftover food particles. While it may seem that brushing your teeth is the obvious solution, this acid will actually weaken your teeth. Unfortunately, if you brush while your teeth are weakened, you could be causing damage. Fortunately, after twenty minutes your teeth will strengthen and it will be safe to brush again. In the meantime, your saliva will negate the acid in your mouth, and the chewing motion promotes saliva flow. In other words, chewing gum after you eat can help you protect your smile.

However, there is a risk to chewing gum. Teeth grinding—which is also known as bruxism—is a common problem. Unfortunately, if you chew gum you could train your jaw muscles to be more comfortable clenching. In other words, if you chew gum frequently, you could be training your jaw to clench or grind. To avoid this problem, it is important to let your jaw relax every day—which means no chewing. This is especially important because bruxism can lead to problems such as an uneven bite, headaches, dislodged teeth, and recurring headaches.

Overall, chewing gum can benefit your smile or lead to problems. If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to contact Vernon Woods Dental and Implant Center at 404-692-7913. We’re eager to hear from you soon.