Chewing gum. Impacts on the oral cavity
Today there are various types of chewing gums on the market that promise to maintain the health of your teeth and provide long-lasting freshness. But do people know all the effects that chewing gum has on the oral cavity and the whole body?
In the long term, the effects of chewing gum are not always favorable
Chewing gum causes hypersalivation, triggering the same stimuli as when we have food in the oral cavity.
Thus, in the absence of food, aerophagia occurs, with multiple effects on the stomach and intestines:
Gastritis or gastric ulcer: chewing gum triggers stomach acid production which will attack the walls and cause long-term perforations.
Delayed orthodontic alignment: when using orthodontic appliances, chewing gum can deform or even loosen brackets, with adverse consequences for the alignment process.
Damage to fillings or prosthetic parts: in the case of prosthetic crowns, chewing gum can cause them to loosen, sometimes followed by fracture. Also, small portions of the composite may become detached from the fillings, allowing subsequent bacterial infiltration.
Favoring the development of caries: most chewing gums on the market contain sugar, which is responsible for the development and persistence of caries. Caries-causing bacteria use sugar as a substrate for growth and proliferation.
Prolonged chewing also weakens the temporomandibular joint. This joint has a complex structure that helps maintain the balance between the jaw and the mandible.
The components of the temporomandibular joint are ligamentous in nature and are highly sensitive to any changes in the dento-maxillary apparatus
Unnecessary stress on the joint leads to compromise of its functionality, accompanied by pain and restriction of the mouth opening.
At the same time, in contrast to the clear disadvantages that chewing gum, consumed for short periods of time and only occasionally, possesses, it can also have advantages:
Sugar-free chewing gum – barrier against cavities: studies show that this type of gum helps to reduce acidity in the oral cavity. As acidity is responsible for the development of bacteria that form dental plaque, the use sugar-free chewing gum neutralizes this parameter and automatically slows down the bacterial colonization process. By creating an environment that is not conducive to the creation of plaque, studies also show a reduction in the incidence of tooth decay by up to 70%.
Breath refreshment: with its various aromas, chewing gum ensures pleasant breathing especially in situations where we are unable to use a toothbrush.
It is therefore recommended that chewing gum is consumed for a short period after each meal to reduce the acid pH created by the breakdown and digestion of food.
Chewing gum is both a friend and an enemy of the oral cavity and the whole body. This raises the question of whether the positive effects of chewing gum outweigh the negative ones. Although various studies have shown a multitude of long-term negative effects, chewing gum continues to be very popular among people of all ages.