Remember as a kid when you would shove 2 pieces of “hubba-bubba” in your mouth and see who could blow the biggest bubble? It usually ended up with gum getting everywhere BUT your mouth. Unfortunately, Hubba-Bubba, and most gum products are packed with sugar! However a recent study found that people who chewed sugar-free gum 2-3 times a day had a greater chance of preventing tooth decay.
Researchers in the UK studied a group of over 600,000 twelve-year-olds who chewed gum at least two or three times a day. The analysis indicated that if all members of the 12-year-old population chewed sugar-free gum twice a day the subsequent prevention of dental cavities could save between $1.3-$3.6 million per year and if they chewed sugar-free gum after every meal (three times a day), that over $9 million could be saved each year! For the full article write up of the study (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160216111404.htm)
Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal helps break down lingering food, neutralize acids, and stimulates salivation; all of which help reduce tooth decay.
A study that was published in the journal PLOS ONE “found that chewing sugar-free gum removed up to 100 million bacteria in just 10 minutes.” The relationship between sugar-free gum and its ability to reduce dental decay has been seen within multiple studies, however chewing gum should not replace daily brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association supports this by recognizing the benefits of chewing sugarless gum after a meal, but brushing and flossing is the most effective way to remove oral bacteria and is recommended at least twice a day.
The findings of this study are very exciting since they reveal new and easy ways for people to improve their oral health. So be a prevention-oriented patient and buy a $1 pack of SUGAR-FREE GUM! Might help you save thousands of dollars in future dental bills!
Like what you read? like our style? Then swing by DurhamDDS for more prevention dentistry with Dr. Bill Argersinger.