Can Chewing Gum Really Clean Your Mouth?


Though candy is not the best thing to put in your mouth for optimal oral health, one tasty treat can provide oral hygiene benefits. Sugar-free chewing gum is not only safe for your teeth, but can also help maintain your dental health.  Here’s how.

Stimulates Salivary Glands

Sufficient amounts of saliva neutralize harmful bacteria by flushing food particles from the mouth into the digestive system. This process prevents sugar and food particles from forming biofilms and harmful plaque that causes cavities and gum disease. Chewing sugar-free gum after each meal helps maintain oral health by keeping your teeth fresh and clean, with increased saliva production that washes away troublesome food debris.

Strengthens Immune System

According to clinical research, the simple act of chewing improves your immune system by promoting the formation of Th17 cells, which help fight cavities and dental infections. Researchers have learned that the immune system can learn bacterial infection patterns to become more proactive in improving your dental health.

Don’t Skip Brushing and Flossing

Though chewing sugarless gum has proven it can improve dental health, it is no substitute for healthy dental habits. Chewing gum will not give your teeth the comprehensive cleaning that brushing and flossing provide. You should brush at least two to three times daily, using a mouthwash or rinse when possible. Also, have a dental checkup at least twice a year for deep cleaning.

Make Chewing Sugarless Gum a Daily Habit

Your daily dental care regimen should include chewing sugar-free gum because of the benefits it delivers. It provides you with a way to eliminate food particles when brushing or flossing is not possible and gives you fresh breath.

It’s best to put a piece of sugarless gum in your mouth after eating, and chew it for approximately 20 minutes before disposing of it. This timeframe gives the chewing mechanism a chance for your salivary glands to create enough saliva to clean out your mouth. If you have dental work, check with your oral surgeon or dentist to ensure you can chew gum. Some devices like wire braces make sticky gum off-limits. Always opt for sugar-free gum and add an extra element to your oral hygiene routine!

Call our Austin oral surgery office at 512-327-7233 to request a consultation.