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Dry Mouth and a Taste of My Childhood

I remember when Bubble Yum bubble gum came out. Wikipedia says it was in 1975 and that feels about right. I remember commercials with a puppet that was trying to steal a kid’s Bubble Yum. 

I also remember the gum itself. It was the first “soft chewing” gum in memory. Before Bubble Yum, it was either sticks like Trident or rock hard little nubs like Bazooka. Bubble Yum made chewing gum more fun. It also had a ton of sugar in it. So much you could feel the little grains of sugar as you bit into it. It was glorious, but it promoted tooth decay. The rare times we were allowed candy (yep, my dad was a dentist) I usually chose grape Bubble Yum. It was one of the flavors that defined my childhood!

Fast forward about 40 years. My diet includes things that cause tooth decay. The saliva in my mouth is a natural defense mechanism of my teeth. Healthy levels of saliva can keep the acid that causes cavities in check. Sugary diet (2)

I’m not alone. I see lots of patients with decay problems. They have sugary diets, too. And many of them have a dry mouth as well. Any time a person takes more than one medication (which is very common) there is a high likelihood that their medications has induced dry mouth.

Dentistry has done a terrible job with dry mouth. We see it all the time. We can explain to our patients why they might experience it. But we don’t have much in the way of treatment for it. We can offer dry mouth rinses and toothpastes, but my patients that have tried them overwhelmingly feel like they don’t work very well. I don’t recommend that patients change their medications to treat blood pressure, depression or anything else. So mostly people just live with dry mouth.

arctic grapeI’ve found a solution that takes me back to my childhood. No, it’s not grape Bubble Yum. But it tastes and chews almost exactly the same. I’m here to tell you that Arctic Grape Ice Cubes gum is my suggestion for dry mouth. It’s as close to a perfect solution for dry mouth as I could invent.

  • It’s delicious. It tastes identical to the Bubble Yum I remember from the 70’s. Right down to the little grains of sugar. Except that it’s actually sugarless.
  • It really increases your saliva. Pop a couple of pieces in to chew and your mouth becomes flooded. It’s nothing short of amazing!
  • The flavor doesn’t last very long. After about 5 minutes the flavor is essentially gone. After the flavor is gone I recommend you throw it out. Gum chewing can actually be harmful to your muscles and TM joint if you do it for too long.
  • It’s sugarless. So even though it tastes really good, it won’t promote tooth decay. In fact, it’s flavored with xylitol which is known to inhibit acid production by the bacteria in your mouth in high doses. The amount of xylitol in this gum isn’t clinically proven to do that, but it’s still better than using sugar to sweeten the gum.

The best treatment I’ve found for dry mouth takes me back to my childhood. How cool is that?

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If you’re looking for a dentist in Saginaw, we’re always happy to accept new patients! You can request an appointment online or call the office at (989) 799-9133. And, as always, you can email me at alan@meadfamilydental.com. I always answer my own emails!