Many people who are concerned about dental health chew sugar-free gum as a healthy alternative to other snacks. While these treats do reduce the risk of calories, individuals may want to limit how many pieces they consume each day.
A recent paper published in the British Dental Journal has found that the acid elements of sugar-free sodas, gums and other sweets could damage teeth.
"Although the presence of acidic flavorings and preservatives in sugar-free products has received less attention, these additives may have adverse dental health effects, such as dental erosion," said study authors.
Enamel erosion caused by additives such as sorbitol and xylitol could lead to an increased risk of teeth chipping or cracking. The researchers added that people may also be harboring a false assumption that because these products are labeled as "sugar-free," they pose no harm to teeth.
This suggests that a change may need to be made in the way these sweets are marketed to help people understand that while there are some benefits to these treats, there are also potentially downsides.
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