About Your Teeth Is chewing gum bad for my overall health? - About Your Teeth

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Is chewing gum bad for my overall health?


People of all cultures have been chewing gum-like substances for thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks used resin of the mastic tree, the American Indians used resin from the sap of spruce trees, and some other cultures used plants and grasses. The modern form of chewing gum, developed in the 1860s, used chicle, a natural latex originally sourced from Mexico as a substitute for rubber. This was later replaced in the 1960s by a cheaper synthetic rubber, which also had a longer lasting chew.

Using sugar-free chewing gum has long been lauded by dentists for its oral health benefits. More recently it has been linked to improved brain function, related to memory and processing speed, and as an effective treatment for Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD). But the vinyl acetate ingredient used by some manufacturers in their gum bases has raised some concerns that chewing gum causes cancer.

A recent study published in the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences looks at these claims in detail and allays much of the misinformation found online.

The use of sugar-free chewing gum stimulates the flow of saliva, which not only aids bad breath  but also helps to remove food debris and clear sugars more rapidly, neutralises plaque pH and remineralises enamel to prevent tooth decay, cavities, or caries.

For dentists, chewing sugar-free chewing gum is considered beneficial to your oral health and hygiene, but only when used in conjunction with traditional preventive dental treatment. For maximum benefit, chewing gum should be limited to no more than 20 or so minutes immediately after eating. There is no benefit from prolonged gum chewing and more is not always better.

To find out how sugar-free chewing gum can help get rid of bad breath, read here.

This was posted by:
Dr Markijan Hupalo – Prosthodontist
Originally from Brisbane, Dr Hupalo is a Sydney-based Prosthodontist. He obtained his primary degree from Queensland University and graduated with Honours in 1988. He commenced his dental practicing career as a Dental Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force, where he worked for almost ten years. In 1996 he completed his military service and returned to Sydney to begin specialist training in 1996. He gained specialist registration in 1999 after graduating from the specialist clinical training programme in prosthodontics at the University of Sydney. He has a specialist private practice in Sydney with an international reputation for quality dental solutions and patient care. Apart from the traditional dental restorative solutions, Dr Hupalo has a special interest in adhesive dentistry and conservative dental solutions. Dr Hupalo holds a teaching appointment with the University of Sydney and is involved in Prosthodontic education at the undergraduate and post graduate level.  He is an advisor to tertiary institutions, industry and is a consultant to the legal profession. Visit: www.sydneyprosthodontics.com
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