Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Is Excessive Gum Chewing Bad?





I'm certainly not going to make the case that one should never chew gum. However, I will certainly try to discourage excessive gum chewing.

Now what is excessive gum chewing? There is no precise answer for this. The good news is that there are some indicators that might give you some clues. For example, sore muscles, joint pain and tooth decay.


Four things immediately come to mind:
  1. More cavities
  2. Excessive tooth wear
  3. Decreased facial dimensions
  4. Joint and muscle issues (TMD--temporal mandibular disorders)


When chewing gum that is loaded with sugar, the results are very predictable. More sugar equals more cavities. However, chewing sugar-free gum can actually decrease the potential for cavities. If after eating a meal you find that you don't have a toothbrush readily available, I recommend rinsing with water. If water is not available, then sugar-free gum can be helpful in removing debris from the teeth thereby decreasing the potential for cavity formation.






Excessive tooth wear
Excessive chewing will lead to excessive tooth wear. Take a look at the picture on the right. You can see that it appears as though someone has taken a file to these teeth and have made them completely flat. This likely wasn't the case. It's more likely that other issues such as clenching/grinding may have been the primary cause of wear in this particular case.



This next picture demonstrates TMD and a decrease in the vertical dimensions of the face. Notice the size of her jaw muscles. They are incredibly well developed. Overuse will lead to muscle/joint pain, damage and dysfunction. 

Also notice that her teeth have worn down and her face has gotten shorter. Cosmetically, it makes people appear much older. In this case, Dr. Sam Muslin improved her overall appearance by not only fixing her teeth, but by increasing her vertical dimensions.


Courtesy of Dr. Sam Muslin



Dr. Cisneros maintains a practice in Freeburg and Columbia, IL. Both are in the Greater St Louis, MO area. For more information on a wide variety of subjects, please visit www.advanced-smiles.com




2 comments:

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