Sugar-free gum could damage your teeth

Sugar-free gum might not be so saintly as a new study reveals the hidden risks in 'tooth-friendly' products

Dentists may want to rethink their recommendation to chew sugar-free gum between meals after scientists discover the habit could do more harm than good by eroding your teeth.

A study in the British Dental Journal found that sugar-free foods and drinks contain acidic additives that may cause dental problems by eroding the enamel. The team of scientists suggest there is an unrecognised risk of acidic flavouring in sugar free sweets and drinks.

‘The term sugar-free may generate false security because many people may automatically believe that sugar-free products are safe on the teeth,’ says researcher Dr Sok-Ja from Boston University.

The researches also suggest that sugar-free products are unlikely to promote weight loss due to the calorie content being similar to that of full fat products.

Writing in a review, the scientists say: ‘The public should be educated on thehidden risk of dental erosion due to acidic additives as well as the adverse effects of gastric disturbance and osmotic diarrhoea.’

‘In sugar free products, these adverse effects may be more insidious because the public has blind confidence that they are oral health friendly.’

But a spokesperson for Wrigley says: ‘Unless people are chewing an excessively large amount of sugar free gum every day, they shouldn’t worry about the issues raised in the report, such as the potential for a laxitive effect or the calorific content.’

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