Osteopath’s Advice: what can your chewing gum do

Chewing gum has firmly entered our lives. Both adults and children chew it. And from the TV screens, the owners of snow-white smiles promise that we will have the same. Many people hope that chewing gum as a magic wand will instantly refresh their breath, whiten their teeth and help prevent the development of caries. Let’s figure out if this is really the case.

Советы остеопата: что может ваша жевательная резинка

The first precursors of modern chewing gum appeared about 5 thousand years ago in ancient Greece. These were various resins and waxes. In Russia, they also chewed such a special resin – a product that was made from pine resin. It removed food residues, refreshed the breath, and there were no harmful substances in it, only natural resin substances that perfectly strengthened the gums and prevented their bleeding. Now there are some manufacturers who make chewing gum using natural resin. But most often modern chewing gum consists of a “rubber” base (usually isoprene rubber obtained from oil), various flavors, flavorings, preservatives and sweeteners. The presence of the latter in the composition is always presented as an undoubted advantage (it does not contain sugar). However, this is not entirely true, because the use of sweeteners has a number of contraindications. 

Советы остеопата: что может ваша жевательная резинка

Of course, gum does not whiten teeth. This requires serious professional work of a dentist. I think the experience of almost every one of you will tell about this. The purpose of chewing gum is not at all to whiten teeth, and not even to freshen your breath. First of all, she has a hygienic task. When we chew gum, we clench our teeth and squeeze it. The teeth seem to stick together, then we open them, and due to this sucking effect, it removes the remnants of food that have accumulated between the teeth during a meal. Chewing gum has no more useful function. It should be chewed immediately after eating for 2-3 minutes – no more. Alternatively, you can use a toothpick or dental floss. 

Советы остеопата: что может ваша жевательная резинка

What is harmful to the constant use of chewing gum? Firstly, a peculiar vacuum effect is created during chewing. Because of this, fillings, crowns, dental implants, and the teeth themselves can be loosened. At the same time, chewing gum, contrary to the myth, cannot spoil the bite. Secondly, chewing reflexively causes the release of saliva, and involves the digestive glands. In our body, everything works like clockwork: there is a stimulus — there is a reaction. And if, after prolonged chewing, the body is not allowed to eat, then the consequences in the form of gastritis and other functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract will not take long to wait. 

Советы остеопата: что может ваша жевательная резинка

Let me draw your attention once again: chewing gum has no purpose to eliminate bad breath. An unpleasant odor is formed due to diseases of the oral cavity or gastrointestinal tract, and chewing gum will not be able to remove it. This symptom is a reason for a close examination. However, it happens that bad breath needs to be eliminated right now. Then I recommend using special refreshing sprays, paying attention to their composition. If you still prefer chewing gum to sprays, then choose the one that is based on the resin of coniferous trees.

Photo source: Getty Images

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