Does Chewing Sugarless Gum Help to Prevent Cavities?
Several studies have concluded that chewing sugarless gum increases saliva, raising the PH and thereby neutralizing the plaque acids. It is the plaque acids that break down tooth enamel and start decay.
A tooth is most susceptible to demineralization and decalcification (white spots) during the first two hours following carbohydrate ingestion and acid production by oral bacteria. By chewing sugarless gum for 20 – 30 minutes after eating, remineralization of teeth and neutralization of plaque acids can occur. As well, the mechanical cleansing effect on the teeth adds to the overall benefit of chewing sugarless gum. Food residue can be effectively cleared from the biting surfaces of the teeth in between brushing.
Chewing gum does not replace brushing and flossing. However, a reduction of as much as 44% of plaque has been reported…. so happy chewing!!