Every human being in this world possesses a natural desire to masticate or chew something. It is something instinctual that’s triggered by stimulus in our taste receptors, tooth hygiene, and bad breath. This desire drives people to munch into some chewy and elastic substance, for example, the people of Ancient Greece used to chew mastic tree bark to keep their teeth healthy and at the same time extract any nutritional value from it. These ancient practices and habits would later become the precursors of the modern day chewing gum.
Today, chewing gums have become an oral activity that has spread everywhere across the globe and it’s so much fun that almost no one would ever reject when being offered a gum. Yet, most people doesn’t realize the full benefits of chewing gums when they pop one into their mouth. A lot of studies have revealed that inside this rubbery treat lies a lot of surprisingly healthy benefits. Here are health benefits of chewing gums.
1. Improve Eating Habits
People with weight problems usually have a bad eating habit or irregular eating patterns that comes from food cravings in-between meals, mindless nibbling while watching something, late night snacking, etc. A recent study shows us that chewing gums could combat those food cravings and binge eating. Those who have trouble restraining themselves from high-calorie snacks such as potato chips, chocolates, etc might want to try popping a gum every time they have the urge to do some snacking.
2. Improve Digestion
When you chew some gums, your mouth will produce more saliva that will help you against indigestion and acid reflux. The increased saliva production caused by chewing gums will wash away this extra acid more quickly. Saliva normally acts as a lubricant to help you swallow foods, so more saliva means easier swallowing, which in turn will improve your digestive system.
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3. Help Against Addictive Stimulants
Chewing gum provides a distraction to focus into, that’s why many people tried to quit smoking by popping a gum. They even invent a nicotine contained gum to help smokers combat the nicotine withdrawal better. Many ex-smoker says that this really helps them in reducing their daily dose of cigarettes up until the point where they totally stopped smoking and chewing nicotine gums completely.
Since chewing gum serves as a diversion, it could be used to distract other addictive habits too. It helps your brain relieve the urge or crave to some stimulants by diverting your focus to the chewing motion.
4. Relieve Nauseous Conditions
Some chewing gums contained herbal attributes, which provides a relief against some nauseous condition such as motion sickness, jet lags, pregnancy etc. Some chewing gums contain medications such as dimenhydrinate, which is a potent anti-motion sickness drug, to provide better protection against motion sickness.
Based on some surveys, peppermint gums is the best as relief against any kind of nausea. It soothes your body and mind, making you feel more comfortable quickly. Chewing gums also helps you to fare better against ear-worms. Earworms is that painful sensation inside your ear during a plane takeoff or landing. It is caused by difference air pressure inside and outside your ear.
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5. Improve Alertness in the Morning
Chewing gum could be an effective substitute to your daily habit of sipping coffee every morning. Instead of trying to get awake by taking shots of caffeine into your body, you can try chewing gums with a strong mint attribute to wake your mind faster. Some study reveals that chewing gum can stimulate your brain to make you more alert by increasing your reaction time. The chewing motion affects 8 areas in your brain and some of them control your responsiveness to be better.
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6. Weight Loss Treatment
Chewing activities actually burn calories, albeit somewhat slightly. Since most chewing gums have a low calorie per serving, so no matter how much you took, it would still be better than consuming snacks. Just make sure they’re sugarless because they have the lowest calorie and the sugary ones could be bad for your teeth.
7. Relieve Acid Reflux
Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition where you regurgitate what’s in your stomach back into your throat or mouth, leaving a taste of stomach acid in its wake. Thus, chewing gums at least two minutes will help to relieve acid reflux.
Mouth Health Tricks by Chewing Gums
8. Maintain Oral Hygiene
Most people thinks chewing gum as just another type of candy. And just like other candies, it could be bad for your health. Well, it is not necessarily true. Chewing gums actually help maintains oral hygiene and protects your teeth by cleaning your mouth as you chew it. Some gums also could remineralize teeth enamels due to some active agent contained within it.
9. Relieve Dry Mouth
Those extra saliva caused by chewing gums proved to be useful once again. It could relieve the uncomfortable feeling caused by dry mouth or xerostomia. Do not underestimate the dryness in your mouth, it could lead to dental cavities and other problems. Of course, drinking some water is the best treatment against dry mouth, but if the dryness is not too severe, you could opt to chew some gum instead.
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10. Improve Breath
Feeling insecure because you just ate something with strong smell such as garlic? You certainly don’t want to leave an impression to other people that your breath stinks, that is where chewing gums come in handy. Certain chewing gums are better than candies because they do more than just refreshing your breath and masking the odor, they actually help to remove the bacteria in your mouth that produce the smell.
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11. Prevent Tooth Decay
As stated before, chewing gums promotes extra saliva in your mouth. Your saliva contains enzymes that are able to break down food particles, preventing any bacterial decay caused by leftover foods that were trapped within your teeth. Those bacterial decay, if left for a long time, could lead to bad breath and cavities, so chewing gums after eating could help you maintain oral hygiene. Just make sure the gums you chew is sugar-free since sugar or any other sweeteners could be bad for your teeth.
Mental Health Effects by Chewing Gums
12. Improve Cognitive Performance
In a test, people who chew on something while doing the test achieve higher scores than the ones who did not. The result tells us that chewing gums while you’re concentrating on something could boost your focus and memory recollection.
13. Combat Anxiety
Have you tried blowing bubbles out of a chewing gum? The pleasure gained from playing with chewing gum could also help against frustration and anger, as it allows you to vent your tensions into it. One study shows that chewing gums for at least 10 minutes will reduce your anxiety levels considerably.
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14. Boost Self-Confidence
People with fresh breath tend to be more confident than people without. So, if there’s an important thing going on, make sure your breath is always fresh by chewing some gums beforehand to give yourself some boost in confidence. Also, guy’s chewing gums sometimes looks cool too.
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15. Improve Memory
Some study reveals that your brain could memorize better when you’re chewing some gums. They said that the oxygen intake to your brain gets improved due to increased blood flow. Those extra oxygens produced by munching action would enhance the brain performance and cognitive abilities.
16. Combat Stress
If you have some subconscious habit when you’re nervous or anxious, such as leg-shaking, nail biting, incessant tapping, etc you might want to chew some gum the next time you’re getting nervous. It will help you stop, or at least reduce, those habits because your nervous mind will be distracted by your chewing motion.
Research on chewing gums is still ongoing to this day, as such, new benefits and improvements are still discovered daily. After all, the chewing gum that we know now has changed drastically since their first recorded usage many years ago due to constant advances in technology.
There are many chewing gum vendors who offer a lot of varieties, but not all of them offer the same benefits. If you want to quit smoking, nicotine gum might be the best choice. If you’re having trouble with your weight, a sugar-free and low-calorie gum is the answer. If you want to relieve nausea and refresh your breath, you will need the one with strong mint flavor. Select your chewing gum product carefully to better suit your needs and get the health benefits of chewing gums.