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“Can chewing gum really help fight cavities?”
It may surprise you to learn, but the answer to this question is “Yes!” Read on to find out how this works.

First, it is important to understand how cavities work. In short, cavities are holes in the outer layer of your teeth (called enamel). While cavities can form because of mouth trauma and cracks, it is more common for cavities to form because of acid erosion. It is acid erosion that gum can help protect against, and thus what we will focus on today.

There are bacteria that live in your mouth, and they are major players in cavity formation. They eat the sugars left in your mouth from eating and drinking and use this to create an acidic byproduct, which in turn erodes your enamel.

Your body’s first defense against acid erosion in your mouth is saliva. Saliva delivers fortifying nutrients to your enamel, physically washed away food particles that bacteria eat, and also neutralizes acids in your mouth.

This is where gum comes in. Chewing gum stimulates salivary glands to produce more saliva, protecting your mouth. Chew sugarless gum; sugared gum also stimulates salivary glands, but it also feeds the very bacteria you are trying to fight. Avoid this by chewing sugarless gum.

For more information, call Drs. Kim and Kang in North Bergen, New Jersey, at 201-854-5500. Our team is happy to help!