by Kyungmee Lee, Staff Writer
What do you think of chewing gum? Is it good? Or bad? According to some recent studies, chewing gum, especially sugar-free gum, is good, in terms of benefits for a healthy life.
Chewing gum helps prevent tooth decay. The American Dental Association (ADA) found that gum chewing increases salivary flow, which neutralizes the acid level in the mouth and washes off the bacteria which makes plague. However, the ADA added that chewing gum should come in addition to brushing and flossing teeth, not as an alternative.
Chewing gum also encourages focusing. A study revealed that 8th-grade students who chewed gum while doing math got higher scores than those who did not. This is because chewing increases blood flow to the brain, which, in turn, activates the brain. Chewing gum also causes you to release stress and therefore feel refreshed.
In addition, chewing gum aids weight loss. From a study conducted at the University of Rhode Island, it helps to reduce one’s appetite. This is because it deceives the brain. The brain thinks the person is eating due to his/her chewing. Gum also reduces a dieting person’s cravings for sweet treats. Moreover, it uses up calories: the jaw muscles will burn about 50 calories in around 4.5 hours.
On the other hand, gum chewing has drawbacks. Gum is a manmade product, which is full of chemicals and artificial ingredients, and it was revealed that some synthetic ingredients can cause headaches or even cancer. Chewing gum can expose your body to a variety of toxins.
Gum chewing also consumes digestive enzymes. Since the brain thinks the person is eating, his/her digestive organs will release digestive enzymes. This is a waste of valuable enzymes, which could cause the person to have digestion problems.
Constant gum chewing causes a problem with the jaw joint. Some people chew gum to relieve stress, but they are actually promoting jaw stress. Chewing wears the joint out. To avoid this risk, dentists do not encourage people to chew gum when they feel stressed.
Want to chew gum? Keep this in mind: too much can be as bad as too little.