Sugarless chewing gum uses sugar alcohol and sugar substitutes as flavour. These include xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, aspartame, etc.
Sugarless chewing gum and tooth decay
- Sugarless chewing gum doesn't cause tooth decay because it only contains sugar alcohol and sugar substitutes which cannot be metabolised by the bacteria inside our mouth.
- Chewing sugarless gum will increase the secretion of saliva. Saliva neutralizes the acid in the mouth and replenishes the lost minerals. Therefore, it reduces the chance for us to get tooth decay. Hence, chewing sugarless gum can help prevent tooth decay.
Points to note
- It is essential to identify whether the chewing gum we choose contains sugar or not. Frequent use of chewing gums with sugar will not only fail to prevent tooth decay but in fact increase the chance of getting tooth decay.
- One cannot solely rely on xylitol chewing gums to prevent tooth decay. The most effective method in preventing tooth decay is to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste every morning and at night, and to reduce the frequency of food/drinks intake.
- Chewing of gum for a long time may cause soreness in the jaw joint. It is not advisable for people with jaw joint problem to chew gum.
Last revision date: 18 January 2012