Is Nicotine Gum Bad For Your Teeth?

It’s well known that smoking and other types of tobacco use have a negative effect on our health. Even vaping, popularly considered to be less harmful than traditional methods of using nicotine is harmful to your overall health, including your teeth. Smoking and vaping can cause delayed healing, bone loss, increased risks of gum disease, and more. If you’re trying to quit it’s natural to wonder if cessation products can still harm you and your teeth. But with all that in mind, is nicotine gum itself bad for your teeth?

Nicotine Gum and Oral Health

One major advantage for your oral health that nicotine gum has compared to smoking or vaping is that it doesn’t cause dry mouth. Chewing any gum stimulates the production of saliva which helps to fight cavities, bad breath, and staining. Nicotine gum is also sugar-free so there’s no cause for concern about it causing cavities because of excess sweeteners.

Nicotine gum can cause harm, however. Nicotine taken in any form has health risks. In particular nicotine gum restricts blood flow which can increase the odds of developing gum disease. Nicotine gum can also cause dry mouth and gum sores in some users. 

However, nicotine gum is only intended to be used for a few months as a cessation method. So these negative effects should be weighed against those of continuing to smoke, chew tobacco, or vape as normal. Nicotine gum is highly effective for quitting smoking.

Some Things to Consider About Cessation Methods

Nicotine gum like any gum can cause or worsen certain dental problems through the action of chewing. TMJ or a previous traumatic oral injury could be worsened or inflamed as a result of consistent gum chewing. Certain dental work like fillings, veneers, and crowns could also be dislodged or damaged. For that reason, if you are looking to smoke it might be worth considering nicotine patches or lozenges as an alternative or supplement to nicotine gum. Nicotine gum is a form of harm reduction and while harmful, is less harmful than alternative means of nicotine intake.

Nicotine Use and Teeth Stains

If you’ve been a long-term smoker or are worried about the cosmetic effects of using nicotine gum several different treatments can help.

  • Teeth Whitening. For teeth yellowing or staining, professional teeth whitening offers a great solution. In-office teeth whitening treatments use stronger, more effective, and faster-acting whitening solutions than those available to consumers.
  • Veneers. Dental veneers are a cosmetic dental treatment where thin pieces of porcelain or composite material are placed over your existing teeth. This is an effective solution for teeth with deep stains or damage and can restore a smile easily.
  • Dental Implants. Effectively an artificial tooth or crown is rooted into your gums by an artificial root. These can even restore bone loss caused by smoking. Patients with severely damaged or missing teeth may be good candidates for dental implants.

If you’re looking for recommendations on how to use nicotine gum as a cessation method the CDC has information available. Nicotine gum and alternatives are also covered in a guide by the American Cancer Society.

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