Sugarless Chewing Gum – Friend or Foe?

All the chewing gum companies compel us to buy their sugarless chewing gum because it cleans our teeth, gives us a fresh breath and may even whiten our teeth. Is this really true?

The Truth About Chewing Gum And Your Teeth

Yes, chewing sugarless chewing gum does help to cleanse your mouth after you’ve consumed something. It stimulates saliva to flow, washing off more debris and it also helps to buffer the pH of your mouth back to a more normal alkaline pH.

So, yes, in a nutshell, chewing sugarless chewing gum does definitely help prevent decay. Does it whiten? Perhaps, but only because it is helping to clean your teeth a little, not due to any chemical reactions on your teeth. But is it really that good for you?

Chewing Gum and TMJ

In this day and age, you hear of many people having hip or knee replacements because they have done too much exercise on the joints over the years and they wear out. This could be true for your TMJ (tempero-mandibular joint) which is what helps your jaw function. This hinge and rotating joint can also wear down but it isn’t nearly as easy as a hip or a knee to replace.

Constant chewing gum will start to put miles on your joint that are unnecessary. This can cause clicking and pain over the years, not to mention wearing down of your tooth surfaces. Also, a side effect could be the “growth” of your cheeks because the Masseter muscle has done so much work chewing that it has grown over the years.

Thus, our recommendation to you is, if you like chewing gum to clean your teeth, do so for 20 minutes and then throw it away. We would prefer if you didn’t chew constantly.

If you do suffer from clicking or painful TM joints or if you think you are wearing your teeth down, please give us a call and we can help rebuild the lost structure or make a bite guard to protect your teeth and joints.


Dr. Smithies has always had a calling to be in the healing arts. She chose to study Dentistry with the hope to change and complete a degree in Medicine, however, she surprisingly found her niche in Dentistry at the University of Pretoria. After a year spent doing Community Service in Mkuze, she felt the yearning to move onto more challenging types of treatments in the Private Sector.

Over the years Sheryl has enjoyed learning more in her field and added an Aesthetic Medicine course to her name in 2008. The ability to use Botox® and Fillers® really is a rewarding treatment. Sheryl moved into her own practice in 2011 and from there she undertook to refine her skills in Aesthetic Dentistry, Dental Rehabilitations and Aesthetic Medicine. In addition, she has attended many world-class seminars in these fields and is extending her treatment range to include Laser Teeth Whitening and Clear-Path® dental aligners.

Dr. Smithies prides herself in giving natural looking aesthetic treatments that give a younger fresher look to any face. The practice imbues a calming atmosphere for any dental and aesthetic treatment. Our technology allows for painless injections and we cater to the nervous patients as well as being kiddy-friendly.

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