The effects of chewing gum on bad breath

People have been chewing gum for years now, mainly to get rid of bad breath. Chewing gum is not bad for health and may not cause detrimental health effects as it is generally considered safe for health, however, nothing is good in excess. Chewing gum is a sugary substance and we all know the harmful effects of sugar consumption in excess. Sugar-free gum is recommended to fight bad breath, although not as the only solution to bad breath.

Excessive use of chewing gum can affect your health in the following ways;

  • It can cause plaque buildup on the teeth because of the sugar content in the ingredients
  • It could cause a condition called Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) causing pain in the muscles that allow jaw movement.
  • Excess intake of artificial sweetening agents in chewing gums like sorbitol can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating or to an extent Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Instead use mouth fresheners that are recommended by the experts  like Non-alcoholic mouthwash,sugarless chewing gums are recommended to fight bad breath. Natural ingredients like cardamom, fennel, cinnamon etc. can also be consumed to curb the issue. These are, however, temporary solutions.

There is no long-term permanent solution for bad breath. It has to be an ongoing effort couple with various activities done together regularly. Bad breath is, in fact, one of the most common reasons why people visit the dentist because it is an immensely embarrassing problem. Regular dental visits are a must to ensure a healthy mouth. This needs to be coupled with healthy oral hygiene practices and healthy dietary habits will take care of the bad breath issue.

Additionally, sugar-free gum, a non-alcoholic mouthwash, and a strong toothpaste can also be used to eliminate bad breath. However, it is best this should be consulted with a dentist because sometimes bad breath could be the result of an underlying health condition.

Regular dental visits and the right oral hygiene practices are critical for a healthy mouth. Steps that one can follow at home to maintain good oral hygiene include;

Brush & Floss – Brush your teeth regularly twice a day for 2-3 minutes each time. The importance of flossing after brushing cannot be reiterated more. Brushing and flossing are like two sides of a coin. If both aren’t followed one after the other, food particles tend to remain in between the teeth, hence causing a foul smell, and eventually weakening of gum tissues (deep pockets) or tooth decay (cavity), sensitivity.

Clean your tongue – Buy a good tongue cleaner in order to remove the residue of any food that has been left behind on the tongue. Similar to flossing, cleaning the tongue is one habit that people often tend to disregard.

Eat healthy food – What you feed your body plays an important role in shaping your overall health. Reduce your sugar intake and cut down on acidic food. Foods like garlic, onion etc. cause the mouth to smell bad, hence, consume foods that are easily digestible like fruits, vegetables, fish etc.

Stay hydrated – Drink lots of water as drinking sufficient amounts of water is the one step that can help curb bad oral odor. When the mouth feels extremely dry, it serves as a breeding ground for the odor-causing bacteria to develop. Drink water as soon as you wake up in order to make up for the time your mouth was dry during the night.

Dr. Sabeer Abdul Salam

Specialist Endodontist

Aster Clinic, Al Qusais (Damascus St.)




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