Chewing sugar-free gum can help to lower the risk of cavities

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Researchers from Kings College London have found that chewing sugar-free gum can help to improve dental health.

The team analysed the findings of twelve studies conducted in the last 50 years. These papers focused on the dental impact of chewing sugar-free gum, most notably on the risk of decay in adults and children. They found that people who chew sugar-free gum are less likely to experience development of cavities. In fact, sugar-free gum was linked to a 28% reduction in the build-up of cavities. 

Professor Avajit Banerjee, lead author and Professor of Cariology & Operative Dentistry, pointed out that there were variations between the studies, but suggested that the evidence was strong enough to update thinking about sugar-free chewing gum. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which can help to neutralise acids in the mouth and clear away debris. Both of these actions can help to lower the chances of plaque forming, which reduces the risk of decay and gum disease. 

Professor Banerjee and his team are now planning more extensive research to “determine the acceptability and feasibility of using this method in public health.”

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