Chew On This: 6 Health Benefits Of Chewing Sugar-Free Gum

Posted on: 17 June 2015

You may have been told for years that chewing gum will promote tooth decay. While popping a stick of sugary gum in your mouth isn't good for your teeth, it turns out that sugar-free gum is full of health benefits. Here are some little-known health benefits of chewing gum.

Weight management

Many people who have a hard time controlling their weight eat when they're bored. They may be watching television or reading a book and want something to snack on just to have something to chew. Mindless snacking will add unnecessary calories. If you pop a stick of sugar-free gum in your mouth when you feel the need to snack, you can dramatically lower your calorie intake and have an easier time managing your weight.

Improved oral health

Sugar-free gum is actually very beneficial to your oral health.  When you eat, your body produces saliva to help break down the food. When you chew gum, saliva is produced, but it's not necessary since you don't actually swallow and break down the gum in your body. The excess saliva will neutralize plaque acid on your teeth and lower your chance of getting cavities. Gum chewing also cleans away food and debris left on your tooth from meals. Chewing gum is a great way to clean your teeth between tooth brushing.

Chewing gum also provides a balance for your enamel that allows it to re- and demineralize properly. Your enamel will break down (demineralize) over time as you eat and brush your teeth. While enamel can't regrow, it can remineralize to combat the speed of the demineralization. When you chew gum, you produce more saliva and raise pH levels, which provide this balance.

Improved school performance

When a math class was divided into two groups, one group was given gum during class while the other group wasn't. The group that chewed gum during class had a 3% increase in test scores and a higher final grade than the group that didn't.  Other teachers have reported that students who chew gum pay better attention and were less disruptive than non-gum chewers.

Reduce face fat

Double chins and other face fat are a result of body fat building up in the face. People who have poorly toned jaw muscles tend to have more face fat than others. Chewing gum will tone your jaw muscles and burn the build-up of fat sitting around in your face.

Reduce Stress

Studies show that chewing gum for more than 10 minutes will relieve your stress. Participants in the study had to do stress loading, and then groups were asked to chew gum for 5, 10, and 15 minutes. One group didn't chew gum at all. The groups that chewed gum for 10 and 15 minutes had much lower stress than the other groups. If something begins to make you feel anxious, pop some gum in your mouth and try to relax until the benefits take effect. Regular gum chewing can reduce your overall anxiety as well.

Improves memory

The act of chewing increases blood flow to the brain. The increased blood flow enhances your cognitive function. Chewing also increases glucose levels. The insulin receptors in the brain are in the same part of the brain that is involved with your memory. The increased activity will improve your memory with regular gum chewing.

Thinking that chewing gum is bad for your teeth is a thing of the past. If your children are allowed to chew gum in school, send them with a pack to improve their school performance. Chewing gum throughout the day will reduce your calorie intake and help you manage your weight. It will also clean your teeth and keep your enamel strong. There is nothing else that will provide those benefits simultaneously while keeping your anxiety low as well. You will look better, feel better, and have a better memory as well.

For more information on how to improve your dental health, make an appointment with a dental clinic, such as Dentistry For Children & Adolescents.