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Is Chewing Gum Good for Your Oral Health?

Posted on 3/25/2017 by Anthony M. DiCesare
A woman about to chew a piece of gum.
Whether or not chewing gum is good for your oral health depends entirely on the chewing gum. Since chewing gum has demonstrated a value for your oral health, the American Dental Association (ADA) puts its seal on chewing gums that can demonstrate they meet the safety and efficacy standards set by the ADA. The company must provide the results of both human trials and laboratory studies. Sugar-free gum is the only gum that is certified.

What Does Chewing Gum Do?

Chewing gum stimulates the saliva production in your mouth. If you chew gum for twenty minutes after each meal, the saliva it stimulates will wash away the acid that is left by your food.

This acid is what contributes to tooth decay. Though gum that contains sugar also stimulates saliva production, the plaque bacteria uses the sugar to produce acids that cause decay. Some chewing gums present other benefits to your oral health.

What Other Benefits to Chewing Gum Are There?

The ADA certifies the efficacy of the chewing gum as well. That means the chewing gum must have some benefit other than increasing saliva.

Chewing gums can be manufactured that reduce plaque acids, help remineralize your tooth enamel, reduce gingivitis or cavities. But to make this claim and receive the seal of the ADA the claims must be proven.

When you choose which gum to purchase at the store, look for the seal. If you read the seal it will tell you what the oral health benefits are. In addition to verifying that the product can validly claim to prevent tooth decay, for example, the ADA requires a list of ingredients from the manufacturer.

If the manufacturer changes a single ingredient after receiving the seal, they must stop displaying the seal and become re-certified.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about chewing gums effect on your smile.

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