NYTimes Examines Health Benefits Of Chewing Gum

The New York Times (4/5, Peachman, Subscription Publication) analyzes the health claims that William Wrigley Jr., founder of the Wrigley Company, made in the 1930s about the company’s chewing gum. In a letter mailed at the time, Wrigley wrote that chewing gum “is good for children’s teeth, which need more exercise than they get with modern soft food.” According to Dr. Jade Miller, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, there is no evidence supporting this or other claims of oral health benefits from chewing the gum sold in the 1930s, which all contained sugar. However, the article notes that since then, “dental experts have come to the conclusion that chewing sugar-free gum after meals increases the flow of saliva, which can help clear sugars and bacteria from the mouth, neutralize plaque acids and strengthen teeth, all of which can help to prevent cavities.” In addition, Dr. Miller said the increased salivary flow may be particularly beneficial for people with dry mouth. “That can be caused by a lot of medications or medical problems, and increased salivary flow can really be helpful for reducing the risk of cavities,” he said. NOTE: too much "sugarless" gum may causing diarrhea, so use sparingly ...
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