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Chewing Gum – Bad or Good for Oral Health?

Chewing gum

What is sweet, gets mushy over a period of time, yet is a favorite with the young and the old alike? You got it right, chewing gum. It is no exception that irrespective of one’s age, creed, class or geographic barriers it is perhaps the most favorite form of candy. Whether you are happy, or sad, stressed or frenzied, the answer to it all is a friendly fellow in the form of gum. But, is chewing gum good for you?

Chewing gum is an age old favorite. It could be regular gum or sugar free and it is available almost at every shop.

How Does Chewing Gum Benefit or Harm Us?

Here are some of the factors why chewing gum is not preferred by dentists:

1. For those of you who use braces or invisalign to help align teeth, chewing gum is an absolute ‘no-no’. The chewing gum typically will get stuck on the wires or the plastic of the invisalign and can ruin the tightness or the actual shape that helps to align teeth. It defeats the purpose, rather causing more harm than glory.

2. Typically chewing gum – sugar free or regular – has some sugar content in it though the degree may vary. This aggravates cavities in more ways than one. The juices from the gum are not good for those suffering from cavities. In addition, the gum may get stuck in some crevice of the teeth, causing the formation of a cavity even to the dentures in good condition.

3. Over the years the number of people suffering from TMJ has increased. TMJ is a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and is painful for those who suffer from it. More than medication, TMJ needs to be treated with proper jaw exercises. Chewing can help worsen the situation by reversing it rather than helping.

4. It is also seen that those who are in the regular habit of chewing gum also end up having bad teeth alignment. This is more for children who are in the process of shedding their baby teeth for permanent ones. Chewing gum can affect the shape of the teeth, and cause bad alignment and setting. It could later lead to braces or other medical conditions that may be hard to cure.

This is as far as the cons of chewing gum are concerned. Some say that chewing gum helps to pull out the deposits or other food particles that may be trapped in the crevices of the teeth, in case of a situation where one can’t brush. The removal of these deposits helps to prevent the growth of cavities and prevent tooth decay. It is best to floss your teeth regularly instead of chewing gum.

If you are addicted to chewing gum, it is always advisable to talk to your dentist. It perhaps may not be a bad idea to see if it has caused any harm, and therefore, take the necessary precautions.