Chewing Gum To Prevent Tooth Decay
Tooth enamel is a thin, translucent substance that covers the visible surface of a tooth. It protects teeth from daily wear and tear and insulates them from hot and cold temperatures. Tooth enamel is constructed from crystals of calcium phosphate and even though it is hard, it can be chipped, cracked or eroded.
Bacteria that live in the mouth use the sugars and carbohydrates from the food we eat to form acids that lower the pH level in the mouth. When the pH level is low, the tooth enamel loses some of its calcium and phosphate and begins to wear away. This process is called demineralization. When enamel erodes, the tooth is more susceptible to cavities or tooth decay.
During an exam, your dentist will look for white spots or lesions which are the first signs that demineralization is starting to occur.
The demineralization process is reversible when the acids in the mouth are neutralized and pH levels are restored. Then calcium and phosphate levels increase and can be added back into the tooth’s surface. This process is called re-mineralization.
Saliva plays an important role in re-mineralization because it neutralizes the harmful acids in the mouth.
To produce enough saliva to do the job, you can chew sugarless gum with CPP – ACP (casein phosphopeptide – amorphous calcium phosphate). CPP-ACP is an ingredient which strengthens and replaces minerals lost through acid erosion.
Although you may think that chewing gum isn’t good for your teeth, as part of an oral care program it can promote strong, healthy teeth by increasing the levels of calcium and phosphate making the enamel strong enough to protect the tooth from decay.
CPP-ACP can be found in Trident White Sugarless gum and Trident for kids Sugarless Berry gum. Chewing the gum between meals boosts saliva production up to ten times the normal flow and helps reduce the acids from the beverages and foods you consume.