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Did you know that gum can do wonders for your breath—and not just because of its flavoring—or lead to severe, recurring headaches? Please don’t misunderstand: there’s nothing wrong with chewing gum, but you should be careful.

In reality, gum, even with the ADA’s seal of approval, can be good and bad for your teeth. When you eat, acids form from leftover food particles. While it may seem that brushing your teeth is the obvious solution, this acid will actually weaken your teeth. Unfortunately, if you brush while your teeth are weakened, you could be causing damage. Fortunately, after twenty minutes your teeth will strengthen and it will be safe to brush again. In the meantime, your saliva will negate the acid in your mouth, and the chewing motion promotes saliva flow. In other words, chewing gum after you eat can help you protect your smile.

However, there is a risk to chewing gum. Teeth grinding—which is also known as bruxism—is a common problem. Unfortunately, if you chew gum you could train your jaw muscles to be more comfortable clenching. That means that chewing gum can actually increase the odds of having bruxism. If this is the case, you could wear down your teeth which leads to sensitive teeth. If you are experiencing jaw pain and you chew gum regularly, we recommend contacting Dr. Eli J. Lawrence soon for advice that meets your individual need.

Are you worried about your teeth? Do you think you could be dealing with bruxism? Do you have more questions on the benefits of chewing gum? If so, please don’t hesitate to contact Eli Lawrence, DDS at 312-236-9895. We’re eager to hear from you soon.