Is chewing gum good or bad for your teeth? Xylitol alternatives.

Blog | Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Hygiene | Oral Health

One of commonly asked oral hygiene questions is whether or not chewing gum is good for your teeth. We have all seen countless commercials advertising chewing gum as a means to strengthen, whiten, and improve your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. Chewing gum can be healthy for your teeth, however, some types of gum are actually very bad for your tooth enamel. It all boils down to what the gum ingredients are. While sugar-free gum is usually better for your teeth than chewing gum that contains sugar, this distinction isn’t always the only important factor.

Chewing Gum With Sugar

Numerous clinical studies have been done on whether or not chewing gum with sugar is detrimental to your overall oral hygiene. The evidence suggests time and time again that chewing gum that contains sugar is detrimental to your teeth. It can erode and weaken your enamel, lead to tooth decay, and even cause problems with your gums. The reason is that sugar is more difficult to wash away with saliva than sugar substitutes as it binds with plaque and is hard to remove without a dental checkup. Sugar filled gum also leads to a greater increase in bacteria growth within your mouth, as bacteria thrive on sugar. An excess amount of bacteria in your mouth can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Sugar-Free Chewing Gum is Better

As all Saskatoon dentists will tell you, sugar-free chewing gum is far better for your teeth than gum flavored with real sugar. In fact, sugary gum is so bad for your teeth that if you begin chewing it frequently over just several months it will be quite obvious for your hygienist to see during a routine dental checkup. Sugar-laden gum can start to pit the enamel on your teeth in just weeks after regular chewing, so be sure to avoid it at all costs. Saskatoon dentists may quote several of the most recent studies that were published by the National Dental Association, all of which showed that sugary gums harm tooth enamel every time it comes into contact with your teeth. While the decay progress is slow, it can build up fast with frequent use of sugary gums.

The Top 3 Flavoring Ingredients in Sugar-Free Gum

  1. Xylitol – If you ask a professional at a dental clinic in Saskatoon they will likely tell you that sugar-free gum that uses xylitol as its primary flavoring ingredients is by far the safest option for your teeth. Not only is xylitol non-corrosive to tooth enamel, but it also stimulates an increase in the production of saliva. An abundance of saliva is one of the main ways that your mouth and teeth stay healthy, as saliva acts to clean the surfaces of your mouth.

  2. Sorbitol – The cosmetic dentistry Saskatoon association strongly recommends sorbitol as an alternative to sugar-free gum. Sorbitol flavored gums are safe to use after or before oral surgery or any other dental procedure, as it is low in acids. In fact, most cosmetic dentistry Saskatoon will even recommend that you only chew sorbitol based gums before or after oral surgery, as the gum will help your mouth maintain a healthy level of saliva, which is very conducive to healing within the tissues of the gums.

  3. Aspartame – If you ask a professional at any dental clinic Saskatoon about which artificial sweetener is the most commonly used in sugar-free gum, they will tell you that it is aspartame. As most people know aspartame actually tastes sweeter than sugar, despite containing no sugar and being comprised of zero calories. Pediatric dentists Saskatoon may, however, recommend that you limit the amount of aspartame that your child comes into contact with. The pediatric dentists Saskatoon association acknowledge that excessive aspartame may increase a child’s appetite to an unhealthy level.

Protect Your Teeth with Sugar-Free Options

The next time you reach for a pack of gum at the grocery store, make sure you take the time to ensure that it is the sugar-free variety. Chewing sugar-free gum exclusively will help ensure that your tooth enamel stays well protected over the long haul, leading to far less tooth decay. If your teeth are hurting, are showing signs of wear (regardless of your chewing gum choices) or you’re simply due for a check up with a dentist in Saskatoon, give our team at Acadia Dental Clinic a call!  Our team specializes in routine dental hygiene, emergency dental care and being a full service family dental clinic in saskatoon. We are here to serve you.

What can be done about sensitive teeth?

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Problems

Sensitive teeth respond to normal stimuli with brief instances of pain or tingling sensations. When your teeth are sensitive, you may feel a twinge of discomfort when you eat something hot or cold. You may also feel pain if you bite down on food or your teeth are hit by air. With severe sensitivity, you may even feel uncomfortable sensations when you brush your teeth. Fortunately, you often do not have to live with sensitivity since there are many things that Saskatoon dentists can do to alleviate the discomfort.

Understand the Common Causes of Teeth Sensitivity

The first thing that you need to do is understand that there are many potential reasons why your teeth are sensitive. Sensitivity is simply a reaction and often the challenger that our teeth are reacting to can be controlled. Cavities, cracked teeth and broken restorations are a few reasons why your teeth may hurt. However something challenged your teeth to create this breakdown in the first place. This damage is often the result of sustained challenges. Sensitivity can actually happen far before physical irreversible (without treatment) damage happens. In some cases, simple aging (sustained challenge with time) causes the gums to recede, which can lead to the underlying dentin or root surface being exposed. Since it is not covered by enamel, these surfaces respond more to stimuli such as hot and cold temperatures. Poor oral hygiene can also cause what feels like tooth sensitivity as bacteria presents a challenge. When food gets caught between your gums and teeth, it can cause inflammation or pressure that presses on the nerves. In some cases, cosmetic dentistry Saskatoon residents receive such as teeth whitening results in temporary sensitivity.

Schedule a Complete Exam

A dental checkup is the only way to find out for sure what is causing your pain. During your checkup at a dental clinic Saskatoon patients visit, your dentist will check each of your teeth for signs of problems. In some cases, you may have more than one reason for the sensitivity. For instance, it is possible to have gum disease along with tooth decay in parts of your mouth at the same time. You may not even be dealing with any damage per se simply a response that your teeth are giving you from facing challengers. You may simply need to control the challengers. After your exam, Saskatoon dentists provide you with a treatment plan that can help you begin to reduce the sensitivity that you experience.

Follow Your Treatment Plan

Dentists use several different strategies to restore comfort when you deal with tooth pain. After your dental checkup, your dentist may recommend one or more of the following types of treatment.

•Fillings to restore decayed teeth
•Deep cleanings to treat gum disease
•Dental bonding to cover exposed dentin
•Special fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel
•Replace cracked and broken fillings
•Bite adjustments to redistribute pressure points
•Increasing the integrity of a restoration or multiple restorations with stronger restorations in crowns by fortifying the tooth
•Fortifying gum tissue where it is weak or lost with grafting type procedures
•A guard to dissipate and distribute pressure
•Muscle treatment to address muscle tension as only place in the body where contracted muscle results in 2 hard surfaces coming together that have surrounding pain sensors

Each component of your treatment plan is designed to help you feel better again. Always work through the plan with your dentist to ensure that every reason for the sensitivity is addressed. Parents should also rely on the advice of pediatric dentists Saskatoon families use to identify dental problems at a young age before they get worse.

Watch for Sensitivity After a Filling

One of the most common reasons for a person to visit a dental clinic Saskatoon residents trust is to deal with tooth pain after a filling. While it is disappointing to find that a tooth still hurts after it is filled, it is usually a simple problem to correct. Sometimes, a filling is deep enough that it is close to the nerve of your tooth, and the nerve needs time to settle after being irritated by the dental procedure. Sometimes that inner nerve area still requires further treatment. Using caution to avoid chewing on that side of your mouth for a day or two often helps the inflammation go down.

A filling can also be built up too high. This causes too much force to be placed on it when you bite down on your food. When this happens, your dentist may need to polish it down until it no longer hits the opposing teeth so hard. Always talk to your dentist about pain that you have following a dental procedure to see if there is an easy way to correct the issue.

Also it helps to understand that there was an underlying reason to do the work in the first place. Bacteria or force often took a toll and got the best of the area. If bacteria or force are still taking a toll following picking up the pieces and being put back together, symptoms may still persist. Furthermore a dentist may be conservative and not jump to end stage treatments before having tried more conservative approaches. It is important to address the cause, not simply any visible resultant damage or the damage process will continue.

Watch Out for Grinding

Pediatric dentists Saskatoon parents trust with their child’s care often note that tooth grinding is the reason for sensitive teeth in children. Adults can also grind or simply clench and flex their teeth. It is simply tight or busy muscles which can happen anywhere in the body at any age and may come and go. Your dentist can give you a nightguard that reduces the damage that grinding does to your teeth and the support structures or help address the muscle activity.

Ease Sensitive Teeth Following Teeth Whitening

Today, cosmetic dentistry Saskatoon residents use to keep their teeth bright can also cause sensitivity. To reduce the risk of pain after teeth whitening, it is best to use professional services instead of over the counter treatments that may be too harsh or not well contained to the hard tissue vs soft tissue that is more delicate.

Tooth sensitivity is often a temporary condition that is caused by a treatable dental health issue. Be sure to mention sensitivity at your appointments and continue practicing good oral hygiene so that you minimize discomfort from your teeth.