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Is Chewing Gum Safe for My Teeth?

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Closeup of a brunette woman blowing a pink gum bubble with sugar-free gum while her eyes are closed

Chewing gum may seem like an easy way to freshen your breath and curb food cravings, but can it damage your teeth?

Sugar Can Damage Your Teeth

Many brands of gum contain sugar, which is well-known for its damaging effects on your teeth. We all have bacteria on the surface of our teeth, but when that bacteria comes in contact with sugar, it releases a harmful acid as a byproduct that is damaging to our teeth and increases our risk for tooth decay.

Chew Only Sugar-Free Gum

Xylitol, a natural sugar substitute in chewing gums, is actually healthy for your teeth. It neutralizes acids released by bacteria in your mouth as you chew it, so you don’t have to worry about cavities. In fact, xylitol actually kills cavity-causing bacteria! Look for gums with an American Dental Association seal on the label to know that it’s safe for teeth.

When You Shouldn’t Chew Gum

Chewing sugarless gum is a great way to enhance breath, relieve stress, and distract yourself from cravings, but if you have jaw pain or temporomandibular joint disorder/TMJ pain, avoid chewing gum frequently. Moreover, if you have tooth pain and sensitivity from continual chewing, it’s best to come see us right away. You may have a cavity!

Don’t Forget Proper Oral Care

Remember, chewing gum is not a replacement for a proper oral hygiene routine, but it can enhance your dental care regimen. The best ways to curb cavity-causing bacteria is by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day, and to come see our team every six months to ensure that you’re maintaining a healthy smile.

Come Visit Us!

If you have any questions about chewing gum, bad breath, tooth sensitivity, or how to prevent bacteria growth, visit us at White Settlement Family Dentistry! We offer a full range of services along with comfortable amenities to make every family member feel at ease. Check out our new patient specials and contact us to schedule your next dental appointment today!

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