Chewing gum and health
Chewing gum provides scientifically supported health and other benefits
Chewing gum provides more than just good taste and enjoyment. It also provides demonstrated health and other benefits that are consistent with a healthy and active lifestyle.
- Dental Health Benefits
Everyone knows that chewing gum helps to freshen breath and clear the palate, but did you know that it also actually helps support overall dental health in a number of important ways.
First, chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, which helps neutralize acids from foods that may contribute to tooth decay. Chewing sugar-free gum has been shown to stimulate the production of saliva by up to ten times the normal unstimulated rate. Saliva neutralizes plaque acid in the mouth and helps reduce the risk of dental caries by up to 40%. The stimulated saliva also helps repair early dental lesions through remineralization of the tooth’s surface. That's why dental professionals recommend sugar-free gum as an aid to oral health. In fact, a UK study by the University of York Health Economics Consortium investigating the economic impact of chewing sugar free gum concluded that if the entire British population chewed sugar free gum, the National Health Service (NHS) could save over £100 million per year on dental care.
In addition, the act of chewing actually simulates tooth “brushing,” thereby helping consumers maintain clean, white teeth, even when they cannot brush.
- Nutrition Benefits
One of the unique attributes of chewing gum is that it provides sweetness and flavor variety, yet it is fat-, saturated fat-, and cholesterol-free, and it provides relatively few calories on a per serving basis. In an age when the health profile of what we eat is so carefully scrutinized, chewing gum is an ideal snack option.
In addition, where permitted by national laws and regulations, chewing gum is an ideal vehicle for the delivery of nutrients to populations that may be falling short with respect to those nutrients. It is easily administered to children and adults alike, comes in a variety of flavors and types, and can target particular nutritional needs on a local or national basis.
- Cognitive Benefits
Research suggests that chewing gum provides certain cognitive benefits, including stimulating alertness, perhaps through increased blood flow to the brain.
In addition, studies suggest that chewing gum may help reduce stress, help reduce cravings for food, and even provide some athletes with a psychological edge. It’s no wonder that the U.S. Armed Forces has supplied chewing gum to its soldiers ever since World War I. and it is still included in field and combat rations today.