The benefits of chewing gum are known. It helps to stimulate saliva production and that, in turn, helps to clean the teeth of acid that can decay your teeth.
Some gums are even known to help prevent cavities and are stamped with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
But sugar free gums contain a variety of different artificial sweeteners. The question is which artificial sweetener is the best for your oral hygiene? That will help determine the best gum.
Artificial sweeteners found in gum are some of the same sweeteners found in artificial sweeteners you put in your coffee; xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, aspartame and sucralose.
Aspartame is a chemical compound that is similar in structure to sugar. Xylitol, mannitol, sucralose and sorbitol are sugar alcohols. They are stable in heat and in liquid where chemical sweeteners like aspartame are not. So, of all of these which is the best to chew?
Several dental health agencies as well as Delta Dental of Massachusetts recommend using xylitol. That would include chewing gum with xylitol as its sweetener.
The reason they chose xylitol is because studies have proven that xylitol has an anticariogenic effect. In other words, it prevents tooth decay by killing harmful bacteria that can cause cavities.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener. It is usually made from birch bark, but is also found in small amounts in vegetables, some berries and mushrooms. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that moderate to high-risk patients could benefit from three to eight grams of xylitol per day.
This dosage was recommended based on evidence that this is the amount that is required to see any clinical effects. If you have questions regarding this, or if you wonder if you are considered a high-risk patient, contact our office today.