Chewing gum is the world’s most common habit. If you were ever scolded in school for chewing gum, your teacher may have been doing you a disservice according to recent studies. Chewing gum might actually be beneficial to both your mental and oral health.
Chewing gum stimulates saliva, which is a powerful protector of the oral cavity. It contains buffers, minerals, and antibacterial components that help flush sugar and food debris out of the mouth. Increased saliva flow also improves digestion by promoting more frequent swallowing. This helps aid with acid reflux by preventing acid from the stomach from rising back into the throat. Chewing gum also freshens breath and whitens teeth by reducing staining.
If that were not enough, recent studies also show that chewing gum actually boost brain activity and enhances memory. Scientists have linked the chewing motion of the jaw with the stimulation of a part of the brain called the hippocampus. This part of the brain plays a big role in memory. Not only does chewing gum boost your memory, it also increases blood flow and oxygen to your brain enhancing cognitive function. The act of chewing gum also increases alertness and concentration.
Feeling stressed or irritated? Grab a stick of gum. A recent study, presented at the 10 th Annual International Congress of Behavioral Medicine, concluded that chewing gum reduced anxiety and stress among individuals participating in the study. During the study, participants were assigned multi-tasking activities designed to induce anxiety and psychological stress. The use of chewing gum during these tasks was found to reduce the anxiety and stress levels as well as improve the overall performance of the participants.
The next time you want to pop that piece of gum; do it guilt free. Improve your oral health while relaxing with your next stick of gum!