Is Chewing Gum Good For Your Oral Health?
Here’s something to chew on: gum has some surprising health benefits.
Bacteria be gone: In a 2015 study, researchers at Holland’s University of Groningen observed that after chewing sugar-free gum for 10 minutes, up to 100 million bacteria were removed from participants’ mouths. That’s 1/10 of the bacteria that lives in our mouths! But before you clear out your local supermarket of all the gum in their checkout aisle, be aware: after 10 minutes of gum chewing, no additional bacteria was found to be removed, just redistributed around the mouth.
Spit is it: Chewing gum can also be helpful in preventing tooth decay and enamel erosion. The mere act of chewing gum increases saliva production, which is the body’s natural way of washing away acids that can build up in the mouth when we eat and drink. Stress less: In other studies, the sticky stuff has been shown to lower the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in participants who chew gum regularly versus those who do not. This can help reduce the risk of stress having negative effects on oral health, such as grinding or gnashing teeth while you sleep.
Bonus bites: In addition to the oral health benefits, chewing gum has also been known to improve cognitive functions such as memory, comprehension, and response time. Sweet!