Chew your way to healthy teeth
For years, manufacturers have promoted chewing sugar free gum as an effective way to help keep teeth white and prevent tooth decay. Now, for the first time, independently validated research has proven that chewing even one piece of gum a day can have significant benefits for your dental health. Let’s have a look at what the experts have to say.
Tooth decay – a global crisis
Despite huge improvements in both dental care and education, tooth decay remains a huge problem worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), tooth decay and oral diseases rank fourth among the most expensive global health conditions to treat, and statistics on its occurrence don’t make for good reading – despite being largely preventable, tooth decay continues to affect 60-90% of children worldwide and almost all adults.
The cost to the NHS
The study followed on from earlier research which looked into the potential decrease in dental care costs from tooth decay for 25 industrialised countries including the UK. The initial research, conducted in 2016, revealed that the NHS could save an incredible £8.2 million per annum if all twelve year olds in the UK were to increase their chewing of sugar free gum. Although funding was provided by Wrigley, the research was conducted by the York Health Economics Consortium and Peninsula Dental School, Plymouth University and represented an initial exploration into the potential cost savings that the chewing of sugar free gum could bring.
“The study represents a solid and substantial approach to the accurate calculation of cost savings in industrial countries that would arise from increasing sugar-free gum consumption,” said Professor Reinhard Rychlik, MA MD, PhD, PhD, Director of the IfEG and the study’s lead author. “Chewing sugar-free gum as a preventive measure for tooth decay has the potential to deliver significant dental care cost savings worldwide.”
The benefits of chewing on sugar free gum have now been scientifically verified. So just how does gum help? The biggest threat to our teeth is the formation of acid. Acid build-up is caused by almost everything we eat, however problems arise when we eat large amounts of sugar, or when food particles remain in the teeth after eating, harbouring acid and providing a perfect breeding ground for the harmful bacteria which damage our teeth.
Chewing sugar free gum increases the production of saliva, which can help wash away food particles and can help to restore optimum plaque pH levels faster. These benefits can help prevent dental cavities, leading to potentially major cost savings for health-care systems.
The oral care benefits of chewing sugar free gum are currently recognised by regulatory bodies, including the European Commission and some national governments, by the FDI World Dental Federation and nearly 20 national dental associations worldwide including the Oral Health Foundation in the UK.
A final word
Whilst the benefits of chewing gum are undeniable, it is important to remember that for maximum effectiveness, it should form part of a healthy oral hygiene regime that includes brushing twice a day, maintaining a reasonable sugar intake and avoiding sugary snacks between meals.You should also ensure that you have regular checkups as recommended by your dentist.
If you need any advice on oral hygiene for you and your family, don’t hesitate to contact the team here at the award winning Bridge Dental and Implant Clinic. We offer a full range of dental services for the whole family and we are currently taking on new patients – with free child places available. Offer runs for a limited time only – contact us now on Derby 01332 916351 to find out more about becoming a member of our practice.
Based on an original article by the Oral Health Foundation https://www.dentalhealth.org/news/details/963
Posted by Bridge Dental and Implant Clinic on 12th June 2017, under Dental Health Tips