Dentist warns 'seemingly harmless' daily habit actually poses danger

A dentist has issued a warning over a daily chewing gum habit saying it is "seemingly harmless" but could pose danger. Andrej Bozic, an oral surgeon at Dentum, has warned the "seemingly harmless" ritual could upset the delicate balance of your mouth's microbes.

He said: "Many people are unaware of the detrimental effects of chewing gum containing artificial sweeteners on their oral health. These sweeteners not only disrupt the delicate balance of the mouth's microbiome, which is crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but they can also lead to digestive issues such as bloating."

He says daily gum could pave the way for harmful bacteria to thrive and potentially contributing to dental problems like cavities and gum disease. "The mouth is the gateway to the digestive system," he said in a warning to chewing gum aficionados across the UK.

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"Disruptions in oral health can have a domino effect on gut health, potentially exacerbating conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and compromising overall wellbeing." He wrng on: "For those who enjoy the act of chewing gum but are concerned about their oral health, I recommend opting for xylitol-sweetened gum as a healthier alternative."

"Xylitol-sweetened gum not only satisfies the urge to chew but also actively contributes to maintaining a healthy oral environment," explained Dr Bozic. "Its unique properties make it an excellent choice for individuals seeking to protect their teeth and gums without compromising on taste or convenience."

The most commonly used products containing xylitol are sugar-free chewing gum and candies (such as mints, caramels, and chocolates) which have both been endorsed by six national dental associations. "Making the switch to xylitol-sweetened gum is a simple yet impactful step towards preserving oral health and supporting overall wellbeing," he said.

Some people experience digestive side effects when they consume too much. The sugar alcohols can pull water into your intestine or get fermented by gut bacteria ( 28 ). This can lead to gas, bloating and diarrhea.