Sugar-less gum is already being touted as an effective product to fight cavities because it stimulates saliva production. Saliva is one of the body’s natural bacteria fighters in the mouth. But now chewing gum manufacturers have started adding whitening agents to their products to help people whiten their teeth in the same time.
It is accepted by the dental community that chewing sugar-less gum actually does help reduce staining pigments from adhering to the protein pellicle. Adding whitening agents or abrasives to the formula adds an extra teeth brightening component. Active whitening ingredients in several gum brands can include calcium peroxide, baking soda, citric acid, malic acid and silica. Some gums also contain zinc acetate as an anti-bacterial to prevent plaque buildup and bad breath-causing bacteria.
It is reasonable to assume that chewing a few pieces isn’t going to have the same whitening effect as whitening gels, strips or dental office applications, but the whitening ingredients do make it easier for the chewing action to remove surface stains and, in some cases, prevent the development of stains. Depending on how stained your teeth are, whitening gum may improve the appearance of your teeth by one or two shades.
Pros and Cons
The advantage to chewing whitening gum is that whitening agents work only when they’re in contact with tooth enamel and people chew gum for a lot longer than they brush their teeth, so it stands to reason that some users will see a difference in their tooth color, even if it’s only in terms of decreased surface stains. Chewing gum, however, even with whitening agents won’t be able to address all stains, but surface stains only.
Tips and Guidelines for Use
- Role of some ingredients unknown. Role of some ingredients unknown. There have been concerns about some gums containing ingredients such as titanium dioxide which may be linked to cancer. There is also some debate over titanium dioxide’s true purpose in the gum, whether as a whitening agent or simply to create the hardened shell that some gum pieces have. It’s not just that these ingredients are coming into contact with your teeth, but they are also swallowed with the saliva.