Can Chewing Gum Actually Give You Bad Breath?

When you have bad breath, you usually reach for a piece of gum or a mint, but what if it's not actually helping, but rather making your breath worse off than before? Here, our experts reveal how to make sure you're chewing the right one so this doesn't happen to you.

“Chewing gums offer a quick cover-up for bad breath, but they don’t actually remove the bacteria that causes it,” says New York cosmetic dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS. Sometimes, gum can instigate the growth of bacteria in the mouth, too, making bad breath even worse. “If the gum contains sugar, the bacteria in your mouth think that you are giving them a sweet treat to munch on,” says Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald E. Goldstein, DDS. “But, even if the gum is sugar-free, bacteria can multiply.” 

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So how can you prevent this from happening? Dr. Smigel recommends buying gum that contains xylitol, an ingredient that has been shown to inhibit bacteria and plaque. "Make sure it’s near the top of the ingredient list on the packaging, so the amount will be beneficial,” he adds.

2 Comments
  • Posted on

    Xylitol gum and breath mints are good to have with you in order to cover bad breath odor on the run. These products can also be very beneficial in saliva production and restoring pH balance after eating foods...both will help reduce the chances of decay.The best way to eliminate bacteria and bad breath is to brush your tongue after brushing and flossing as part of your oral hygiene routine. The most smelly bacteria reside in large quantities on the tongue. Brushing your tongue is a very effective way to insure nice breath :))

  • Posted on

    Chewing the right type of gum can be beneficial, as long as you stick to Xylitol gum, which studies show not only helps prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth but also helps stimulate saliva. Saliva flow is our bodies natural preventive mechanism to flush bacteria and keep our mouth clean. For some the chewing action may be great to help develop our jaws but if you have muscle pain or hear a click while chewing it's better to stay away and have your TMJ (joint) checked out by a dentist.

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