Djara Van Hove

Chewy Facts

The Benefits of Chewing Gum.

Scientific research indicates that chewing gum may be good for you. So, grab a piece of gum (sugar-free is recommended) and chew along while reading the following health benefits. 


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Oral bits 

Saliva has such a fundamental role when it comes to oral hygiene. It not only keeps our mouth moist it also flushes sugar, food debris, and other bad acids out. But how can a piece of (sugar-free) gum help us with oral hygiene?

Saliva is produced in our salivary glands and consists largely out of water, it contains all kinds of important substances and enzymes, which keep our mouth healthy. The chewing gum will physically polish our dental enamel and stimulate our saliva flow. A strong network of protein forms a film on our tooth surfaces and oral mucosa. This protective microscopic layer gives bad bacteria no chance of survival and reduces plaque formation and staining, which is the main cause of tooth decay. I almost forgot to mention that it also freshens our breath. Check out the experiment, Freedent(al) Teeth, which is based on previous mentioned facts. 

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Chewy Matters

Several studies have proved that the act of chewing or mastication has a positive effect on our brain. The continuous movement of our jaws increases our heart rate which affects the blood flow. The  heart constantly pumps blood through the human body and supplies vital organs with oxygen and other nutrients, while the brain absorbs about 20% of this.

An increased heart rate provides the brain with more blood flow and oxygen, which can improve our cognitive skills and releases the hormone insulin. The front part of our brain, the fronto-temporal region, is responsible for performing cognitive tasks while the hippocampus underneath these regions uses insulin is an important fuel for improving the memory. These aspects help us to stay focused while doing certain tasks. Chewing gum is thus a cheap and healthy alternative for students or people who find it difficult to concentrate. So next time, when you get caught in class for chewing gum, you can put forward theses following arguments.     

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Gum against Stress

A meaningless piece of gum can also influence our mental health and it can help us to improve our ability to cope with some mental issues. Our psychological status is, as a matter of fact, often affected by emotional or physical tension, like fatigue or stress, such.

A reduced production of saliva can lead to mouth dryness and is often associated with depression, fever, sleep, and emotional stress, it is a response but not a consequence. Salivary levels of the stress hormone cortisol reduce while chewing a piece of gum. Additionally, the rhythmic act of chewing is an easy technique to reduce the feeling of stress. So, if we chew regularly, it can decrease our levels of anxiety, mental state and tiredness.

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Diminish those cravings

Sugar free gum is very low in calories.  It also helps to increase the amount of saliva which postpones the feeling of hunger. Studies pointed out that chewing can burn between 10-11 calories/hour. We can even train our muscles around our jawline to make our face appear slimmer. (Warning: the difference is only visible if it’s combined with a healthy diet)

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Last but not least

In contradiction to what is often said, swallowing your gum isn’t that bad at all. The story that gum remains in your stomach for seven years is false because it is not digestible. It just goes through our digestive system and stays fairly intact until it finds its natural way out. This horrible story was nicely made up by our parents, to frighten us, and to prevent us from eating our chewing gum like any other candy. Only consuming a large amount of gum could cause some problems over time.

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