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Oral and Physical Health Benefits of Chewing Gum

Oral and Physical Health Benefits of Chewing Gum

by Azka Munir · February 18, 2022

When you are younger, parents stop children from chewing gum in case it gets stuck in the windpipe.

However, as you grow older, chewing a piece of gum can actually be beneficial for your oral health. It is important to remember that you should only chew sugar-free gum.

One that is not sugar-free will actually end up harming your oral health than benefiting it. This article discusses the oral health benefits of chewing gum. Keep reading to know more!


What Does a Chewing Gum Contain?

Essentially it is a soft rubber substance only meant for chewing and then throwing out.

However, its ingredients make it effective in promoting saliva in your mouth as well as combating bad breath.

Let’s find out what it contains.

chewing gum ingredients

GumIt is a non-digestible base that gives the gum its rubbery texture.


Packaged gums need to be on the shelves for a long time.

Hence, preservatives are added to increase their shelf life.

One common preservative is butylated hydroxytoluene.


Sweeteners give the gum a sugary taste.

Common ones in sugar-free gum include xylitol or aspartame.

Those in sugary gums include corn syrup, beet sugar and cane sugar.

Though, they won’t add flavor.

For that, there are…


Natural flavorings and synthetic, both can give the desired flavor such as mint or cinnamon.


Resin allows to hold it together and also strengthen the gum.


Softeners prevent the gum from hardening.

That’s where it gets its soft texture from.

Vegetable oils and paraffin wax can soften it.


Fillers also enhance the texture of the gum.

They include calcium carbonate and talc.

Other than that, look for sugars in the gum you consume.

Having sugar inside it can lead to tooth decay.

Since the bacteria metabolize the sugars such as sucralose and carbs, it ends up producing acid and that erodes the tooth enamel.

The sugar contents include Neotame, Saccharine, Isomalt, Mannitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol and Sucralose.

While chewing gum contains 0.5 grams of sugar per serving, this is enough o cancel out the positive effects of chewing gum.

Let’s talk about them in detail below!


Oral Health Benefits

One of the main purposes of chewing a piece of gum is to mask bad breath.

It effectively does so but did you know that it also helps to strengthen the enamel, whiten teeth and prevent decay?

In fact, it can also remineralize your enamel and relieve the dryness.

Well, now you will. Keep reading below to know how.

oral health benefits

Benefits of Chewing Gum

Gets Rid of Bad Breath

Has anyone ever passed you chewing gum, suddenly?

Unfortunately, odds are that your breath did not smell good.

But don’t worry that happen to the best of us.

If you ate something stinky such as garlic or spices, had coffee or tea then chances are your breath smells bad.

However, there can be serious reasons behind it too.

A dry mouth due to a lack of production of saliva and gum disease can be behind the halitosis you are experiencing.

If your oral health is fine then it has to do with what you ate.

Either way, gums help to mask the bad breath due to the strong flavorings such as mint.

What’s more, it helps to increase saliva production.

Hence, it washes away the bacteria on the tongue that cause bad breath.

This brings us to…

Increases Saliva In the Mouth

As you chew gum, the action stimulates saliva.

Saliva washes away the food particles that bacteria feed on.

Moreover, it relieves dry mouth.

Those suffering from the dry mouth have difficulty speaking, chewing and swallowing.

The chewing action pushes the jaw muscles on the salivary gland.

Through the release, you can get rid of bacteria which can further reduce your chances of getting decay.


remineralization through chewing gum

Reducing Tooth Decay

As the saliva production increases and bacteria are washed away, the chances of tooth decay reduce.

However, this applies to sugar-free gum.

A sugary gum will rather expose your enamel to even greater trouble.

Gum stays in your mouth for longer periods and teeth at that time will be constantly exposed to the sugars.

The bacteria metabolize the sugars and turn them into acids that erode the enamel.

On the other hand, xylitol works in the opposite way.

This sugar alcohol is present in sugar-free gums.

In an experiment by the Journal of Oral Science, participants who chewed xylitol gum showed a reduction in oral bacteria in the mouth after chewing.

The lesser oral bacteria can result in even lesser chances of tooth decay.

Moreover, it also helps to chew gum right after eating a meal.

That too will reduce the chances of tooth decay.

Other than that, some gums have the ingredient casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate.

It is also known as Recaldent.

A Recaldent helps to slow down decay by remineralizing your tooth.

Hence, it strengthens your enamel so there is less sensitivity and also a lesser chance of decay.

Whitening Effect

This is an uncommon benefit but whitening gums exist.

These are consumed after a meal to stimulate salivary flow.

The saliva then washes away the stuck food particles that may cause decay and also result in decay.

But that’s not it.

The gum contains whitening ingredients that can coat the teeth so there is less staining in the future.

Plus compared to other teeth whitening treatments, it will not result in any sensitivity.

So it is a quick solution to whitening.

Besides, these oral health benefits, gum also has several health benefits.

More on that below.


Physical Health Benefits

Isn’t it surprising that something like chewing gum can give you physical health benefits?

It can boost your memory, relieve your stress and also help with GERD.

What’s more, you can lose a few pounds by chewing it at the right time too.

physical benefits

Physical Benefits in Losing Weight

Even sugar free gums taste sweet.

Plus it is low in calories.

So if you are on a diet, you do not need to eat a dessert in order to fulfill your sweet craving.

Rather you can make do with simply chewing a piece of gum.

Plus, chewing action also helps in reducing your appetite.

Hence, it will prevent overeating.

If you take it between meals then it will reduce your hunger as well as appetite.

Plus if you chew a gum when you are walking then it can help burn more calories.

There is more search required on this but chewing gum may also increase your metabolic rate.

Hence, those who intend to lose weight can benefit by chewing gum packets to some extent.

reducing stress

Chewing Gum for Reducing Stress

Chewing a piece of gum regularly helps to reduce stress for extended periods of time.

Plus, there are recent variations in chewing gum, introducing those that contain cannabidiol (CBD).

This has anti-anxiety benefits and can even work as a treatment for antianxiety disorders.

Thus by chewing gums with CBD you may see an improvement in social anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It works by absorbing through your cheeks, right into your bloodstream.

This increases the higher bioavailability levels of CBD in the bloodstream.

Hence, it reduces stress and anxiety more effectively.

That’s not it!

Chewing a piece of gum while performing tasks can help you focus for longer periods of time.

It can also improve other aspects of the brain function such as improving concentration, memory, decision making, alertness and understanding.

Memory improves when there is an increased blood flow to your brain.

That also helps in alertness throughout the day for habitual gum chewers.

Stress also reduces because the action of chewing helps to reduce the stress hormone cortisol.

Other Health Benefits of Chewing Gum

When the saliva in your mouth increases due to gum, it also helps in balancing the acids in your esophagus.

This aids in reducing acid reflux or laryngopharyngeal reflux.

It is different from Gastroesophageal reflux disease i.e. GERD which pushes back the stomach acid in the throat.

In laryngopharyngeal reflux, the acid present in the esophagus makes its way to the throat.

Thus, as gum stimulates more saliva, that helps to balance the acid to prevent reflux for a short period of time.

The saliva stimulation also helps to ease a dry mouth which in return reduces cavities.

Other than that, chewing a piece of gum can also help with nausea.

Feeling nauseous is terrible.

Hence, if you feel sick, the saliva production from chewing can help make you feel better.

It is especially helpful with morning sickness in pregnancy and motion sickness.

Also, you can burn up to 11 calories per hour only by chewing gum.

As it has benefits in keeping you alert and improving your focus, it can fight sleepiness.

Now that you know the benefits of eating chewing gum, it is time to buy one.

But how should you choose?

Don’t worry we have you sorted!


How To Choose?

While choosing chewing gum, always go for a sugar-free option.

Also, remember to choose those that have an ADA seal.

This way you will be reassured that it is safe to consume and also beneficial for your oral health.

choosing chewing gum

People who suffer from IBS should refrain from choosing sugar-free gum as it can further exacerbate their digestive problems.Rather they should choose gums containing a low-calorie sweetener such as stevia.

Plus, the American Dental Association seal will guarantee that the gum you are chewing will not cause calories.

Also before choosing, read the ingredient list to be sure you are not consuming anything you are allergic to.

With all of the information regarding chewing gum out of the way, remember that it does not replace brushing and flossing.

Yes, it has several benefits for your oral health.

It can stimulate saliva, relieve dry mouth, prevent decay and cavities and mask bad breath.

However, it will not achieve the same results as brushing and flossing do.

Hence, do not use it only to get rid of your morning breath, rather continue with your oral hygiene routine as usual.

Brush twice a day and floss once to prevent cavities as well as gum disease.

Use a tongue cleaner additionally to get rid of bad breath throughout the day.

Also, drink more water all day.


Add sugar-free chewing gum to your existing oral hygiene routine.

It does not replace flossing and brushing.

It only adds to the protection all of these provide.

Hence, if you want to get more oral health benefits, start chewing gum today.

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