December 19, 2016/Ear, Nose & Throat

Are Mints or Gum Better at Freshening Your Breath?

The Short Answer from a dentist

" Are Mints or Gum Better at Freshening Your Breath?"

Q: Are mints or gum better at freshening your breath?

A: Let’s start by saying the very best way to freshen your breath is good oral hygiene. Outside of that, everyone could benefit from a breath freshener when brushing isn’t possible. Both gum and mints aid in stimulating saliva flow, which helps to cleanse the mouth. However, I would generally recommend sugar-free gum over mints.


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I like the physical action of chewing to potentially remove food debris and plaque. That said, chewing gum over a long period of time increases the risk of excessive tooth wear and muscle soreness, so I recommend limiting gum-chewing sessions to 15 minutes. If you’ve had a history of temporomandibular joint problems, then sugar-free mints would likely be a better choice.

I don’t recommend gums or mints containing sugar. These can contribute to tooth decay by acting as a food source for the bacteria in your mouth. When those bacteria feed on sugars, one of the byproducts is acid, which is what breaks down the tooth.

Todd Coy, DMD


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