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According to numerous studies, chewing sugarless gum for at least 20 minutes after your meal can help prevent cavities. The key is a substance your body has for protecting your mouth and teeth: saliva.

By chewing sugarless gum, your mouth will naturally create extra saliva to accommodate the substance in your mouth. It is the saliva, not the gum itself, that actively fights cavities. Saliva washes away the destructive bacteria that causes plaque buildup; it can also neutralize acids–from bacteria or food–that are responsible for tooth erosion. Chewing sugared gum can also promote saliva, of course, but the sugars in the gum feed the bacteria the saliva is trying to fight. This obviously negates the benefits of chewing gum.

Chewing gum can be beneficial to the body in other ways. For example, evidence suggests that it helps with the effects of heartburn! Heartburn is caused by acids from the stomach traveling up the esophagus and slowly wearing away these tissues; chewing gum increases saliva flow, which neutralizes stomach acids and washes them away if they reach your mouth. Additionally, the act of frequently swallowing helps keep the acids at bay in the first place.

For more information on simple practices you can integrate to avoid cavities, call Derby Family Dentistry in Derby, Kansas, at 316-788-4000. We are here to help you get the healthy smile of your dreams!