According to the American Dental Association, chewing a piece of sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent tooth decay. Chewing gum prevents decay by increasing the amount of saliva in the mouth. Increased saliva helps to carry important minerals like calcium and phosphate to your teeth, as well as to neutralize acidic bacteria, and to sweep away debris. Gum with sugar does increase saliva in the mouth, but the added sugar causes plaque bacteria to accumulate in the mouth There are many sugarless gums sweetened with aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol that are approved by the ADA. Look for the ADA seal of approval to ensure that your gum is sugarless. This seal is your assurance that the gum has met the ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness.