Can Chewing Your Food Prevent Gum Disease?

Fresno Dentist Serving Madera, Clovis, Visalia, Tulare & Nearby Areas in California

Wed, 03/15/2017

There are a number of ways to protect teeth and prevent gum disease. Call Fresno dentist Dr. Gregory Miyake at <a href=559-224-0103 to schedule an appointment and learn more." src="/sites/" style="width: 350px; height: 350px;" />

You likely know that brushing after every meal, flossing at least once daily, and visiting our Fresno office every six months for professional cleanings can help prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health issues. Now, a study from researches at the University of Manchester has shown that chewing your food for longer periods of time may help prevent infection and disease as well.

For this study, researchers looked at oral Th17 cell production related to mastication. Th17 cells, part of the immune system that help defend against harmful pathogens, seem to increase when food is chewed for longer periods. This can help improve immune response in the gums and throughout the body and may be useful in preventing disease. However, researchers warn that chewing too long can have the opposite effect. Too much Th17 cell production actually increases risks for gum disease.

So, which is it? Does chewing longer prevent or encourage gum disease? That all depends on how long “longer” is for you. The standard 5-10 times for softer foods and 30 or so for meats and denser/rougher foods remains ideal for most.

When combined with a good daily oral hygiene routine and biannual vests with our Fresno dentist, proper chewing is very beneficial for oral health. However, the foods you choose will play a role as well. No matter how long you chew sugary foods or how long you keep simple carbs in your mouth, risks for tooth decay, infection, and gum disease will increase. In fact, the longer these foods stay in the mouth the more damage they do. Choose healthy food. Brush and Floss often. Visit our Office every six months. These steps will all help prevent oral health problems and keep your natural teeth strong and attractive for years to come.

To schedule your next appointment with Dr. Miyake, please contact us online or by calling 559-224-0103 today. Located in Fresno, Dr. Miyake serves patients living throughout Northern California.