Sugar-free gums can protect your teeth from cavities

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DENTISTS on Thursday recom
mend that chewing sugar-free
gum can be helpful but not sugar-based chewing gums as beating bad breath is a major challenge for most people. Popping a chewing gum or using mouth freshener seems to be the most common habit to fight the condition, but do these habits impact our health.
Dentists recommend that chewing sugar-free gum can be helpful but not sugar-based chewing gums. Dr Sujay Mohan Rai, medical director and specialist prosthodontics, NMC Royal Medical Centre, talking to Khaleej times said:
“Constantly chewing gum will affect your dental health. When you eat foods or consume beverages with sugars or starches, bacteria in the mouth release acids that attack your tooth enamel. Gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, allowing the bacteria to destroy underlying bone supporting the teeth.” Bad breath or halitosis is primarily caused by the bacteria present in the mouth that act upon the retained food particles to release volatile sulphur compounds.
Other reasons are poor oral hygiene, gum diseases, cavities, dry mouth, tobacco in any form, certain types of food like garlic, onion, coffee and refined sugars. Non-oral causes could be infections and conditions affecting throat, lungs, stomach etc.
“One of the common perceptions among the people to fight halitosis is to use chewing gum. Though chewing gum causes more salivation initially thereby diluting the bad breath, the effect is lost after a few minutes. Sugar is one of the common ingredients of most of the gums available. The bacteria in the mouth quickly feed on sugar to quickly reproduce and produce more volatile sulphur compounds, which makes halitosis even worse. It is better to use sugarless gums or gums fortified with probiotics, zinc acetate and magnolia bark extract or eucalyptus-extract,” said Dr Padma Gandi, specialist endodontist, RAK Hospital.
The dentist strongly recommends sugar-free gums as they help protect your teeth from cavities. This is because xylitol prevents the growth of bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath. In fact, chewing xylitol sweetened gum reduces the amount of bad bacteria in the mouth by up to 75 per cent. Chewing gums may also help people to quit smoking. Chewing gums sweetened with sugar is really bad for your teeth. This is because sugar is digested by the bad bacteria in your mouth, causing an increase in the amount of plaque on the teeth and tooth decay over time.

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