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Chewing gum may be made popular as a style statement in the recent past, but in reality, it is as ancient as the Aztecs and the Mayans, who had the habit of chewing gum or bark. Over the years, numerous studies have been conducted to deep-dive into its benefits, and it has been found to be very beneficial.
With the recent fad of foods going sugar-free, chewing gums also left the sugar in them out.
For routine regular oral care, it is advisable to brush and rinse after each meal. However, in cases when one is not at home, this becomes a practical challenge. A good option is to chew a sugar-free gum after each meal, so that decay and gum disease are reduced to a large extent. This can be supplemented with a brushing or flossing as soon as it becomes available.
In addition to avoiding sugar load, there are other benefits of chewing sugar-free gum as listed below:
- Kills microorganisms: It is believed that chewing sugar-free gum for about 10 minutes can kill up to 100 million bacteria in the mouth.
- Stimulates production of saliva: The jaw movement that happens with chewing gum increases saliva production and flow. This helps in diluting the acids in the mouth, flushing out plaque, and removing food particles that are lodged in various areas.
- Prevents decay: With improved salivary flow, the chances of dental decay are delayed. Studies comparing pH of the mouth before and after chewing gum have confirmed that sugar-free gums reduce the acidic level of the mouth, which is conducive for tooth decay. There is no actual sugar in the gum, thereby one of the factors required for decay is eliminated.
- Xylitol: One of the main ingredients in sugar-free gums, it is shown to reduce the amount of bacteria that lead to decay in the mouth. This is an ingredient from fruits and vegetables and so good for the overall health.
- Improves digestion: As is well known, the first step of digestion begins in the mouth. With improved salivary flow and increased chewing, food is digested to a greater extent leading to reduced incidence of acid reflux.
- Boosts logic and memory: Chewing gum stimulates blood flow to the brain and stimulates the neural pathway. This has multiple benefits including improved memory, improved alertness and logical skills, reduced anxiety, and improved learning and memory.
- Saves money: With all these benefits, especially reduced incidence of gum disease and tooth decay, it is estimated that a lot of money spent on dental treatments is saved.
So, the next time you see the sugar-free gum at the billing counter, there is no need to think too much about it, go for it!!