Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Right Kind of Chewing Gum Lowers Risk of Tooth Decay

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Right Kind of Chewing Gum Lowers Risk of Tooth Decay

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: Why do dentists recommend chewing gum? Doesn't gum cause cavities?

Dear Reader: Dentists don't recommend just any chewing gum. They recommend sugar-free gum, specifically gum that contains xylitol, a sugar-free, no-calorie sweetener made from the bark of birch trees.

It may actually lower your risk of tooth decay and cavities by interfering with the growth of harmful mouth bacteria.

Bacteria in your mouth eat sugar or starch that is found in the foods and beverages you consume. Fueled by this energy, they grow, multiply and form plaque. That's the bacteria-laden film that covers your teeth between brushings. Bacteria eating sugar and starch give off acidic waste that attacks tooth enamel. This acid in the plaque sets the stage for tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. …

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