Fotolia_15254500_XS-resized-600Have you ever wondered if the claims about certain sugar-free chewing gums are true and can in fact help prevent cavities? And, if so, why? Is it a special type of sugar, like xylitol, or is it from the process of just chewing gum? There is a lot of research about the benefits of chewing sugar-free gum that shows chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes following meals does in fact help with the reduction of cavities. Although many studies do say that xylitol can help in reducing cavities, the largest reason why chewing sugar-free gum can help is because of the role it plays in producing more saliva. When you chew sugar-free gum, there is no sugar present to be broken down in the mouth so there is no food for the bacteria that causes cavities to eat. The process of chewing gum increases the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva plays a huge role in keeping your mouth clean and healthy. By increasing the flow of saliva in your mouth, your teeth become more resistant to cavities by letting all the important ingredients to your saliva, such as calcium and phosphate, bathe your teeth and in turn strengthen tooth enamel. So, it is true! Chewing sugar-free gum can help reduce your risk for cavities. If you are able to chew gum and consume artificial sweeteners then remember, everything within moderation and be sure to look for chewing gum that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the back.

Source info: THE EFFECT OF CHEWING SUGAR-FREE GUM AFTER MEALS ON CLINICAL CARIES INCIDENCE BRADLEY B. BEISWANGER, D.D.S.; A. ELIAS BONETA, D.M.D., M.S.D.; MELISSA S. MAU, B.S.; BARRY P.KATZ, PH.D.; HOWARD M. PROSKIN, PH.D.; GEORGE K. STOOKEY, PH.D. September 12, 2011 Scientific Panel Issues Evidence-Based Clinical Recommendations: Sugar-Free Polyol Gum, Lozenges and Hard Candy, Nonfluoride Varnishes Help Prevent CavitiesRecommended in conjunction with fluoride for patients at high-risk for developing cavities Non-fluoride caries preventive agents Full report of a systematic review and evidence-based recommendations A Report of the Council on Scientific Affairs 5/24/2011

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