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Chewing gum and mints: Sugar vs. Sugar-free

Posted on 7/4/2022 by Ranches Family Dental
Chewing gum and mints: Sugar vs. Sugar-freeSugar feeds the bacteria present in your teeth. These bacteria then digest the sugar-producing acid, which leads to cavities. The acid produced by these bacteria softens and weakens the enamel causing it to break. When the enamel is damaged, the bacteria in the teeth have access to the inner parts of the teeth, which are softer, causing tooth decay to progress faster.

Chewing gum and mints with sugar

Chewing gum and mints are packed with tons of sugar. Chewing gum containing sugar is highly harmful to your teeth. As opposed to eating sugary foods, chewing gum causes your teeth to be in contact with sugar for a very long time. The more time the sugar is in your mouth, the more time the bacteria have to digest it and produce acid, weakening your enamel.

On the other hand, sugared mints are more dangerous to our dental health than chewing gum. Chewing gum can increase the production rate of saliva in our mouths. Saliva helps flush out bacteria. The low pH of saliva also neutralizes the acids produced by the bacteria since acid has high pH. Mints, however, do not increase the production rate of saliva, causing the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth to increase in quantity, leading to more damage.

Sugarless chewing gum and mints

Chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva production, which flushes out bacteria in your mouth. Sugar-free gum contains an ingredient called xylitol. This ingredient is vital in fighting tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth feed on xylitol the same way they feed on sugar. However, the bacteria cannot digest xylitol, causing them to die once they ingest it. Stop by or practice for consultation and recommendations on where you can get sugar-free gum containing xylitol.
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Dental Blog Eagle Mountain, UT • Ranches Family Dental
Dr Richard Baldwin, in Eagle Mountain, has created this informative blog to help educate the community. Read and learn about Dentistry and then call (385) 374-0500.
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