3 Ways Chewing Gum Can Benefit Your Oral Health

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You have probably heard that chewing gum, especially gum containing sugar, is not good for your teeth. While this may be true in certain situations, an occasional stick of gum may benefit your mouth in more ways than one. Although sugarless gum may be better for your teeth, chewing too much can lead to gastrointestinal distress. Talk to your dentist about which types of chewing gum are best suited for your situation. In the meantime, here are three ways chewing gum can benefit your oral health: 

Dampens Acid Reflux

If you suffer from acid reflux disease, then you are probably well aware of its symptoms. They can include heartburn, epigastric pain, coughing, a bad taste in the mouth, and sometimes wheezing. While these are the most common symptoms of reflux, symptoms such as bleeding gums and enamel erosion can occur, especially in severe cases.

Medications and antacids can help relieve acid reflux symptoms, however, they can lead to side effects. Chewing gum can help dampen acid reflux without side effects produced by medications.

If you have problems with reflux disease, talk to your dentist about the benefits of chewing gum. He or she may recommend sugarless gum. However, if you are bothered by gastric distress caused by artificial sweeteners, you may be better off chewing gum without them.

Tames Bruxism

Tooth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism, can damage your teeth and gums. It may also lead to jaw pain, headaches, neck pain, and earaches. Anxiety and stress is also thought to play a role in the development of bruxism, and because of this, anti-anxiety interventions such as chewing gum may help stop you from grinding your teeth. Gum chewing has been show to relieve stress and may be an effective low-cost alternative to other bruxism treatments.

Prevents Dry Mouth

When your salivary glands fail to produce enough saliva to keep your oral tissues moist, you may be at risk for gingivitis or cavities. Saliva helps wash away infection-causing germs in your mouth, and when salivary production is low, your oral health may suffer. 

Chewing gum helps stimulate your salivary glands to keep your oral tissues healthy. If your mouth is dry despite chewing gum and drinking plenty of water, see your physician. Dry mouth can signal health conditions such as autoimmune disease. If you have any of the above problems, talk to your dentist about how chewing gum may help. While chewing gum may not completely solve all your oral problems, it probably will not further complicate them if enjoyed in moderation. Click here to get more info.