The holidays bring lots of opportunities for treats and snacking throughout the day. But no one has “develop a cavity” on their holiday to-do list! However, not everyone has the opportunity to brush their teeth right after they snack.
To combat this problem, chew gum! Specifically, sugar-free gum. Chewing sugarless gum helps prevent cavities by stimulating your salivary glands to produce more saliva. It is the saliva that fights cavities, not the gum itself.
Saliva is your body’s first natural defence against cavities. To understand how that works, we must first understand how cavities form in the first place.
Cavities form primarily due to acid erosion. Acids produced by bacteria in your mouth eat away at tooth enamel, eventually causing a hole to form. This hole is called a cavity. It can also form from acid erosion from external acidic sources, such as lemon, energy drinks, or sports drinks.
Saliva, however, helps to neutralize these acids. It also flushes away the food particles and debris that bacteria feed on. This helps prevent cavities from forming. Chewing sugarless gum stimulates saliva flow.
Of course, chewing other types of gum also stimulates saliva flow. However, the sugars present in the gum feed the bacteria that produce acid–negating the benefits of chewing gum in the first place. Stick to sugarless gum for a healthy and happy mouth this season!
Dr. Omar Damji and our team look forward to making your smile shine! For more information, call Executive Park Dentistry in Atlanta, Georgia, at 404-633-1853.