Chewing gum is one of the most inexpensive habits you can have, and all of us enjoy an occasional piece of gum. However, if you are in the habit of always chewing gum, you may start to wonder if it is doing damage to your teeth. Read on for more information about chewing gum and if it is one habit you should definitely break.
The benefits of chewing gum
If you chew the right kind of gum, a chewing gum habit can actually be good for your teeth. Sugarless gum can help to increase the saliva in your mouth, which washes debris and bacteria off of teeth – it’s a quick, effective way to help clean teeth after you eat. Gum with xylitol in it can even help to prevent tooth decay.
Minty gum, of course, is a quick way to freshen breath and refresh your mouth. And, studies have shown that there are mental benefits to chewing gum – it can improve memory and alertness, and it can also reduce stress. Many people will use gum when they are trying to quit smoking or when they are trying to lose weight.
The bad points of chewing gum
Chewing gum with sugar in it is, of course, bad for your teeth. And, research has shown that, in people who are prone to migraines and tension headaches, there is a link between constant gum chewing and headaches.
Chewing gum can overwork the jaw muscles and tighten the facial and neck muscles, which can lead to jaw problems such as TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), a painful jaw disorder that causes headaches, ear aches, and jaw pain.
If you are in the habit of chewing gum, it can be a difficult one to break. Sugarless gum can have its benefits, but if you are having jaw pain it might be time to quit the habit. Jaw or tooth pain is not normal, and it might not go away just because you stop chewing gum. Call Hampton Dental Associates in Milwaukee for help diagnosing your pain and for expert treatment. Call (414) 377-5711 today!