What are the dental benefits of chewing gum, if any?
Xylitol-sweetened chewing gum (supplemented by normal oral hygiene care) was shown to reduce the amount of dental decay by 70% in children in comparison to a population of children who did not chew the gum.
The Xylitol effect:
- Xylitol has a unique chemical structure that goes unrecognized by bacteria in the oral cavity
- Xylitol is not fermented and therefore, there is no resulting acid production or attack on the teeth
- Chewing gum sweetened with xylitol helps to stimulate saliva production and flow to help remineralize early caries
- Inhibits mutans growth and with continued use, it can decrease the numbers of the bacteria in plaque
- Increases the ratio of soluble to insoluble polysaccharides in the oral cavity
- Complementary action to fluoride
Source: Dental Secrets, Elsevier, 2015