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Potential oral health Benefits of Sugar-Free Gum

Based on a recent study posted in Dentistry Today, a significantly higher portion of participants in a gum chewing study group perceived that their oral health had improved. The control group consisted of 186 people, age 60 and older who were not regular gum chewers. Participants were randomly assigned to the “gum chewing” group – this group was asked to chew xylitol containing gum 2x/day for 15 min; while the control group did not chew gum. The study ended after a 6 month period and primary measurement was “increased saliva flow”, with secondary measurement “improvement in plaque/gingival tissue and self perceived oral health”. The gum chewing group demonstrated significant improvement in plaque and gingival index scores over the control group. In addition, a higher portion perceived that their oral health had improved during the study time frame. The conclusion of the study is that the recommendation of sugar-free gum, along with routine dental services, did not in all cases increase the saliva flow but does provide significant other measurable oral health benefits. Per the ADA (American Dental Association) further Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. The chewing of sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva, which washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth. Increased saliva flow also carries with it more calcium and phosphate to help strengthen tooth enamel. The only varieties of gum with the ADA Seal are sugarless. They are sweetened by non-cavity causing sweeteners such as aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol. Of course, chewing sugar-containing gum increases saliva flow too, but it also contains sugar which is used by plaque bacteria to produce decay-causing acids. Further research needs to be done to determine the effects of chewing sugar-containing gum on tooth decay. Don’t let chewing sugarless gum replace brushing and flossing. It’s not a substitute. The ADA still recommends brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning plaque from between your teeth once a day with dental floss or other interdental cleaners. Look for chewing gum that carries the ADA Seal. The ADA Seal is your assurance that the sugar-free chewing gum has met the ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness. You can trust that claims made on packaging and labeling for ADA-accepted products are true, because companies must verify all of the information to the ADA. Products with the ADA Seal say what they do and do what they say. For more information on our staff and services, please visit our website. Have a happy and healthy rest of the summer – see you soon! /df