Chewing gum is a habit that people either enjoy or they do not. Occasionally, some non-gum chewers may chew a piece of gum if they fear that they have bad breath. Americans have been chewing gum for over 100 years out of habit, as a breath freshener, and as a means to break the habit of smoking. Yet, there is also an added benefit to chewing gum that many people find surprising: chewing gum can help prevent the development of cavities from occurring inside the mouth.
While it may sound like something out of a horror movie, there are millions of bacteria taking up residence inside your mouth every single day. These bacteria congregate around tiny particles that are left behind after eating and drinking, and they begin to work to break them down. As they go to work, they begin producing acids to help them work faster. Acids are notorious for eating their way through whatever is in their path – this being your tooth enamel inside your mouth. It is important to note that oral bacteria are most attracted to sugar particles that are left behind in the mouth. They will congregate in huge numbers, creating pools of acids that quickly eat through the teeth and cause holes – otherwise known as cavities. (more…)