Health Benefits of Gum Chewing and More About Chewing Gum
New research is indicating that chewing gum offers the surprising health benefits. However, there are no standard benefits on everyone. Each person is a unique, individual and will have different responses to chewing gum.
The results of scientific research indicate chewing gum may be good for a number of things that include: improve memory, stress reduction, increase focus, alertness and concentration, manage weight, improve oral health and etc.
Chewing gum improves memory
Psychologists say, the chewing gum can help in improving memory and enhance cognitive powers. They found that people who chewed throughout tests produced significantly better scores than people who did not. There are a number of potential explanations for that.
The act of continuous chewing or moving of our jaw actually improves our memory. The activity in the area of our brain that is important for memory (the hippocampus) increases while people chew. Some research shows that insulin receptors in the hippocampus may be involved in memory. Chewing gum increases the glucose level which is body-and-mind fuel.
Chewing gum increases blood flow to the brain. Increased heart rate improves oxygen delivery to the brain which can enhance our cognitive powers. Some studies have reported that blood flow to the brain increases by as much as 25 percent to 40 percent during gum chewing. Also the act of chewing speeds up our heartbeat and blood pressure just enough to wake up both left-and right hemispheres to work together.
Chewing gum produces more oxygen, more glucose and disposal of more CO2. This is way chewing gum improves memory.
Chewing gum reduces symptoms of stress
Some teachers encourage students to chew gum during tests to help increase alertness and concentration. Psychiatrists and psychologists believe that chewing gum reduce tension and help to release nervous energy. Chewing gum may provide an outlet for frustration and irritation.
Recent research has shown that the rhythmic motion of chewing gum has a stress-reducing effect because relaxed and satisfied feelings.
Chewing gum helping to manage weight
With low calorie count (5 to 10 per serving), chewing gum is an inexpensive snack. According to some studies the adults who chewed the gum ate 36 calories less of the snack than adults who did not chew gum. Both regular and sugar free chewing gum helped the adults to eat less.
The physical act of gum chewing may help to reduce your cravings for high calorie snacks. According to a group of scientists chewing gum can burn about 11 calories per hour.
Chewing gum improves digestion
Chewing gum helps to improve intestinal motility, also helps to increase saliva flow which promotes more frequent swallowing. This helps to prevent reflux of acid from the stomach back into the throat.
Chewing gum improves oral health
The results of scientific research demonstrate that chewing gum is good for oral health and teeth specifically. Chewing gum increases saliva, which is the most important component of oral health and powerful protector of the oral cavity.
Stimulated saliva corrects a potentially harmful environment using its high concentration of buffers, minerals and antibacterial components. That helps to flush sugars, food debris and decay-causing acids out of the mouth.
Sugar free chewing gum has a number of dental benefits. Sugar free chewing gum doesn’t cause tooth decay. It demineralises tooth enamel and has an antimicrobial effect. Those who chewed sugar free gum after eating had fewer cavities than those who did not.
Chewing gum freshens breath, whitens teeth by reducing stains and preventing stains from accumulating and reduces plaque.
Others benefits of chewing gum
Some people become more attentive and feel more alert when they chew gum. Chewing can take away sleepiness. Chewing gum that is sweetened with xylito doesn’t raise blood sugar. Also chewing gum has good taste.
As remind there is no standard effect on everyone. Therefore it is difficult to make a general rule that applies to everyone.
Learn More about Chewing Gum
(Courtesy: American Dental Association)
What is chewing gum?
Chewing gum in various forms has been around since ancient times. The Greeks chewed sap from the mastic tree, called mastiche. On the other side of the world, the ancient Mayans favored the sap of the sapodilla tree (called tsiclte). Native Americans from New England chewed spruce sap—a habit they passed on to European settlers. Today, the base used for most gum products is a blend of synthetic materials (elastomers, resins and waxes in various proportions). However, chewing gum is as popular as ever. Consumers may be used to thinking about chewing gum as a kind of candy, but this category of the ADA Seal recognizes chewing gum that has demonstrated scientifically that it can protect the teeth.
What does chewing gum do?
The physical act of chewing increases the flow of saliva in your mouth. If you chew after eating, the increased salivary flow can help neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on your teeth. Over time, acid can break down tooth enamel, creating the conditions for decay. Increased saliva flow also carries with it more calcium and phosphate to help strengthen tooth enamel. Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. In the future, look for chewing gum that delivers a variety of therapeutic agents that could provide additional benefits to those provided by the ability of gum to mechanically stimulate saliva flow. For instance, some gum might contain active agents that could enhance the gum’s ability to remineralize teeth and reduce decay, or enable gum to help reduce plaque and gingivitis.
Does chewing gum replace brushing and flossing?
No, chewing gum is an adjunct to brushing and flossing, but not a substitute for either. The ADA recommends brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning plaque from between your teeth once a day with dental floss or other interproximal dental cleaners.
What is in chewing gum and how is it made?
Chewing gum typically consists of:
- Gum base
- Artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame, sorbitol or mannitol)
- Softeners (glycerin or other vegetable oil products)
- Flavorings and colorings.
The process for making chewing gum has six basic steps:
- Gum base ingredients are melted together
- Other ingredients are added until the warm mix thickens like dough
- Machines called extruders are used to blend, smooth and form the gum
- The gum is shaped (flattened or molded into tablet shapes and coated)
- The gum is cooled for up to 48 hours in a temperature controlled room
- The gum is packaged.
How does chewing gum get the Seal?
A company earns the ADA Seal for its product by showing with scientific evidence (PDF) that the chewing gum is effective for one or more specific indications, such as reducing plaque acids, promoting remineralization of tooth enamel, reducing cavities and/or reducing gingivitis. Studies must also show that the gum is safe to oral tissues. The manufacturer must provide the results of both laboratory studies and clinical studies in humans.
Does the ADA award its Seal to sugar-containing gum?
To date, the only gum with the ADA Seal are sugarless. They are sweetened by non-cavity causing sweeteners such as aspartame, sorbitol or mannitol. Chewing sugarless gum has been shown to increase the flow of saliva, thereby reducing plaque acid, strengthening the teeth and reducing tooth decay. Of course, chewing sugar-containing gum also increases saliva flow, but it also contains sugar which is used by plaque bacteria to produce decay-causing acids. Further research needs to be done to determine the effects of chewing sugar-containing gum on tooth decay.
Why look for chewing gum that displays the ADA Seal?
The Seal is your assurance that the Sugar-free Chewing Gum has met the ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness. You can trust that claims made on packaging and labeling for ADA-Accepted products are true, because companies must verify all of the information to the ADA. Look for the ADA Seal because products with the ADA Seal say what they do and do what they say.
NOTE: Look for the ADA Seal—your assurance that the product has been objectively evaluated for safety and effectiveness by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.