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    • 20 JUN 18
    • 0
    Sugar free gum

    Sugar free gum

    About sugar free gums. . .

    Chewing sugar free gum after a meal is considered beneficial for oral health, but why do they work?

    Dietary carbohydrates provide food for the bacteria that reside in our mouths and plaque and their ‘digestion’ produces the organic lactic and acetic acids. In this acidic environment – low pH –  that is present after eating, mineral ions move out of tooth enamel in a process known as demineralisation. This leaves the enamel temporarily weakened and prone to caries.

    The critical role of saliva

    Healthy saliva contains calcium and phosphates which neutralise these acids and allow the teeth to take up the minerals again, or re-mineralise. The balance between demineralisation and remineralisation is key for prevention of tooth decay.

    Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, effectively flooding the mouth with this natural acid-neutralising compound. Regular gums are laden with sugars (carbohydrates)and will subject the teeth to further assault. Only sugar free gums shift the balance towards remineralisation.

    Recaldent

    To go even further, Professor Eric Reynolds of the University of Melbourne thought to examine the anecdote that drinking milk offered protection against tooth decay. His research compared the calcium in dairy products with the calcium in other foods and found that in milk, it is stabilised by the casein protein. The end result, supported by clinical trials in the early 2000’s, is Recaldent gum which has been shown to lead to greater remineralisation than normal sugar free gums.

    This gum and similarly formulated tooth mousses have gone on to worldwide success and acclaim. They are considered particularly relevant for people prone to caries, for example some health conditions or medications effect the quality or quantity of saliva thereby upsetting the delicate chemical balance for optimal tooth enamel.

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