Chewing gum is a pastime of many individuals. Some choose it for fighting bad breath, fighting nerves, or even fighting bad habits. Research shows a link between chewing gum after meals and improving oral health. The Wrigley Science Institute measures the benefits of chewing gum, not only to improve oral health, but also in the areas of weight management, stress relief, and increased alertness and concentration.
Studies have shown the efficacy of chewing sugarless gum after eating meals. This is because the stimulation of saliva helps clear any acids remaining around the teeth and gums. A study published in the Journal of Dental Research shows positive results of children chewing sugarless gum after meals with close to a 40 percent reduction of dental cavities compared to non-chewers.
Along with oral health benefits of after-meal chewing, this habit may reduce your total calorie intake. Sugarless gum comes in a countless number of flavors, and not to mention around five calories a stick, this can be a smart after-dinner choice to curb a sweet tooth. In addition to the reduced number of calories in this “dessert,” energy expenditure increases with chewing, aiding in calorie depletion.
Growing up, chewing gum was prohibited in the classroom. Now it seems like chewing gum actually helps increase alertness and the ability to focus. Wrigley traveled across the U.S. promoting “The Official Sponsor of Finals Week,” appearing at 25 college campuses with efforts to improve concentration and test scores. Chewing gum produces more oxygen while disposing more carbon dioxide, also showing improvement in memory.
The act of chewing gum has been noticed to lower stress levels. Research supports an increase in blood flow to the brain, leading to increased brain activity and arousal responses. This increase encourages a more relaxed state and improved mood. (Might be helpful during rush hours).
So if you happen to question grabbing a pack of gum next time you are standing in line at the checkout, it might be worth it!