In last week’s blog, we learned about how your tongue gives clues to health conditions, the dangers biting your fingernails can have on your tooth enamel, and other bad dental habits to avoid. Your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz also warns against other behaviors that can have a negative effect on your oral health.
Spit Out Your Gum
Did you know that chewing sugar-free gum may actually benefit your teeth? Chewing gum made with stevia or xylitol, healthy sugar alternatives, can help protect your teeth when brushing is not an option. Of course, you cannot replace brushing with simply chewing gum, but a sugarless gum can be helpful in a pinch. The gum stimulates saliva production which not only washes away food debris, but also stabilizes the acidity in your mouth, preventing cavities. However, there is a catch to chewing sugarless gum: spit it out after 15 minutes.
Prolonged Gum Chewing Hurts Your Jaw Muscles
Chewing gum for hours on end, like the obnoxious, gum-chewing record holder, Violet of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, can result in dire consequences for your oral health. Your temporomandibular joint is the lower jaw joint that allows you to chew, open your mouth, and speak. Continuous chewing for more than 15 minutes can contribute to TMJ disorder, a condition related to issues with this lower jaw joint.
Avoid TMJ Disorder
Also called TMD, TMJ disorder can create a multitude of oral health and overall health problems. Some symptoms of TMD include teeth grinding, weakened enamel, jaw popping, difficulty opening your mouth, shoulder and neck pain, earaches, headaches, and dizziness, especially in the morning. If you are going to chew gum, avoid sparking TMJ disorder issues by chewing it sparingly and only for short amounts of time.
Your Friendly Family Dentist in Astoria
At our Astoria dental office, we offer comprehensive dental care with patient satisfaction in mind. To schedule a dental checkup with Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, contact our Astoria dental office at 718-728-8320. We proudly serve patients from Astoria, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and surrounding areas.