5. Reduces Stress
Stress can impact your health, both physically and mentally. To control your stress level, one simple trick is to chew your favorite gum.
The process of chewing helps reduce the amount of cortisol in the body and release stress. It can even reduce anxiety.
A 2011 study published in Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health found that gum chewing may improve levels of anxiety, mood, and fatigue .
A study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion in 2009 points to a relationship between decreased stress and gum chewing and suggests chewing gum may help reduce perceived levels of everyday stress .
6. Increases Concentration
Chewing gum can also increase your concentration and positively influence your memory and reaction time.
Chewing boosts blood flow to the brain. This, in turn, increases the amount of oxygen available to the brain, which enhances cognitive functioning.
A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Psychology reports that chewing gum can help you stay focused longer on tasks that require continuous monitoring. It can even improve concentration in visual memory tasks .
The next time you need a little help to concentrate on a task, just start chewing a piece of sugar-free gum.
7. Opens Clogged Ears
Clogged or plugged ears can cause a lot of discomfort, including a popping sensation in your ear, a windy sound inside the ear and a feeling of having something within the ear.
To deal with clogged ears, chewing sugar-free gum is very beneficial. The act of chewing helps overcome a sudden change in air pressure that causes the ears to become clogged. Chewing opens up the Eustachian tubes, which in turn relieves the excess pressure in the ears.
This is one reason why it is recommended to keep chewing gum handy when traveling by air.
- When choosing chewing gum, opt for sugar-free varieties to avoid damage to your teeth due to sugar.
- Chewing sugarless gum does not replace brushing and flossing, which are a must for good oral health.
- Look for chewing gum that carries the ADA Seal for safety and effectiveness.
- If you are experiencing any type of jaw pain or temporomandibular disorder (TMD/TMJ) symptoms, you should refrain from chewing gum.
- Dodds MW. The oral health benefits of chewing gum. Journal of the Irish Dental Association. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23573702. Accessed February 17, 2018.
- Popular Chewing Gum Eliminates Bacteria That Cause Bad Breath. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040401080031.htm. Published April 1, 2004. Accessed February 17, 2018.
- Chewing Gum Reduces Snack Cravings And Decreases Consumption Of Sweet Snacks. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419133824.htm. Published April 20, 2009. Accessed February 17, 2018.
- Miquel-Kergoat S, Azais-Braesco V, Burton-Freeman B, Hetherington MM. Effects of chewing on appetite, food intake and gut hormones: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Physiology & Behavior. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031938415300317. Published July 15, 2015. Accessed February 17, 2018.
- Smoak BR, Koufman JA. Effects of gum chewing on pharyngeal and esophageal pH. The Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11768700. Published December 2001. Accessed February 17, 2018.
- Moazzez R, Bartlett D, Anggiansah A. The Effect of Chewing Sugar-free Gum on Gastro-esophageal Reflux. Journal of Dental Research. 2005;84(11):1062-1065. doi:10.1177/154405910508401118.
- Sasaki-Otomaru A, Sakuma Y, Mochizuki Y, Ishida S, Kanoya Y, Sato C. Effect of Regular Gum Chewing on Levels of Anxiety, Mood, and Fatigue in Healthy Young Adults. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health : CP & EMH. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3158435/. Published 2011. Accessed February 17, 2018.
- Zibell S, Madansky E. Impact of gum chewing on stress levels: online self-perception research study. Current medical research and opinion. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19425900. Published June 2009. Accessed February 17, 2018.
- Chewing gum helps you concentrate for longer, study suggests. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130308093933.htm. Published March 8, 2013. Accessed February 17, 2018.