Chewing gum offers a number of potential benefits.
Chewing gum does not have a great reputation. It can be seen stuck to walls and sidewalks, under tables and behind chairs, always threatening to becoming horribly stuck to the sole of your shoe or affixed to your favorite item of clothing. Beyond the negatives, however, lie a number of positive factors associated with chewing gum.
Chewing gum can have a positive effect on the overall health of your teeth. According to the World Dental website, chewing gum after meals helps to stimulate the production of saliva and overall salivary flow. This saliva helps to neutralize the acid produced by bacteria found in plaque, the main cause of dental decay. You should always chew sugar-free gum in order to maximize potential dental health benefits.
The neutralization of plaque bacteria also helps to prevent bad breath, promoting overall dental hygiene. Furthermore, flavored gums, such as mint or menthol, offer a short-term solution to bad breath.
The act of chewing gum can reduce the desire to snack between meals. Cravings can be displaced by chewing gum, a physical act almost identical to that of snacking but without any significant calorie consumption.
The action of chewing gum can help to reduce pressure in the ear and sinuses. Chewing may help relieve the pain and pressure of an ear infection and also can relieve ear pain caused by rapid descension from high altitudes, according to the MedlinePlus website.
Chewing gum may increase concentration levels. A 2002 study by the University of Northumbria found that word recall scores among gum-chewing test subjects were 24 percent higher than those of nonchewing control subjects. Furthermore, the results were 36 percent higher in delayed word recall tests. The exact reason as to why chewing gum may increase concentration levels is still speculative, but an increase in heart rate or increased brain activity in the hippocampus could be the main factors.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
According to the BBC h2g2 website, chewing gum can act as a displacement activity to reduce the craving for nicotine. Nicotine gum also can reduce cravings by slowly releasing nicotine into the body, helping smokers to stay away from cigarettes.
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