health

12 Ways Chewing Gum Can Actually Be Great For Your Body And Mind

by Johanna Silver
Johanna is a writer who lives, works, and volunteers in New York.

Chewing gum is definitely a fun little treat that gives you an enjoyable oral fixation for hours.

I can’t say exactly what makes it so appealing but I have friends that go through entire packs of it in a matter of days!

Gum has also yielded a lot of interesting creative endeavors; people have made some pretty interesting things out of gum wrappers and this beauty blogger even made lip gloss out of it.

But did you know that gum can also be good for you, not just a fun treat to enjoy while working?

Gum has been used as an effective breath freshener as well as a way to treat nausea for ages.

But its benefits actually go far beyond your mouth; it can help your digestion, stress level, and even your memory!

Check below to learn all of the interesting benefits of chewing on sugar-free gum—it will definitely make you want to pick up a pack!

Gum Benefit #1: Improves Concentration

Chewing gum while on computer
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Now that we increasingly rely on technology, it’s easy to get distracted with all of the articles and images online.

However, popping a piece of gum into your mouth my be able to help you concentrate more.

The repetition and the monotonous chewing helps people’s minds stay alert; gum chewers have been shown to have quicker reaction times and a great ability to recall facts according to a study.

Gum Benefit #2: Protects And Whitens Teeth

Brushing teeth
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Studies have shown that having sugar-free gum after meals can help help neutralize acids that can be harmful to your teeth.

Chewing gum also increases saliva production, which helps wash away food particles that can fester in between teeth.

However, sugary gum can potentially have the opposite effect on teeth, and anyone who is experiencing jaw pain or clicking should refrain for chewing.

Gum Benefit #3: Combats Stress

Chewing gum while taking test
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Some studies have shown that chewing gum reduces the stress hormone cortisol, making it an easy way to make you a little less stressed. 

And since it can help you concentrate, it’s easier to achieve a bit of a meditative effect with the monotonous chewing; its sort of like an offshoot of deep breathing.

Gum Benefit #4: Keeps You Alert And Awake

Chewing gum while driving
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The constant chewing when you’re snacking on a piece of gum actually stimulates your facial muscles.

This promotes blood flow around your body, since it is not a voluntary bodily reaction like blinking.

The blood flow will keep your alert and focused when you are doing something long and boring like driving long distances.

Gum Benefit #5: Manages Your Weight

Stepping on scale
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Sugar-free gum is a great way to curb eating cravings because it acts as a basically calorie-free snack that you can chew on for hours.

It is also super affective at curving cravings and addictions, making it easier to resist unhealthy snacks.

Though it won’t help you shed significant weight on its own, it can help you make more beneficial small decisions, which will lead to healthier habits.

Gum Benefit #6: Improves Digestion

Chewing gum by the bathroom
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Don’t get me wrong—swallowing gum will likely not help your digestive system one bit.

But the saliva that you produce from chewing builds up acid in your stomach.

This will help your body digest foods more efficiently!

Gum Benefit #7: Sharpens Your Memory

Putting in a piece of gum
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Gum’s aforementioned ability to improve our concentration can also help our short term memory.

Chewing also improves blood flow because your muscles are engaged, so this means that more blood is being pumped to the brain!

Gum Benefit #8: Freshens Breath

Checking breath
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

This is definitely a no-brainer; when you need to freshen your breath but don’t have a toothbrush handy, gum is the easiest, most effective way.

The mint flavor in most gums masks any unpleasant smells, while the excess saliva helps wipe out any excess food that could cause weird smells.

Gum Benefit #9: Combats Acid Reflux

Holding stomach in pain
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Mint gum is an age-old way to treat nausea.

The palette-cleaning flavor helps heal the feeling of dizziness, while the saliva can help flush down food that can be causing it in the first place.

Gum Benefit #10: Curbs Certain Addictions

Chewing gum while friend is smoking
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Chewing gum can be a great way to distract yourself from cigarette cravings with a different kind of oral fixation.

There are also different types of nicotine-filled gum that you can chew to help curve your impulse to smoke.

If also helps curve food cravings that are hard to say no to in the moment, as long has you have something to chew on and concentrate on, you can resist the urge to relent.

Gum Benefit #11: Gets Rid Of Your “Earworms”

Chewing gum while listening to music
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Though this is definitely not the most pressing medical manner, it’s something that almost all of us have suffered at one time or another.

“Earworms” are when you get a song stuck in your head and find yourself incessantly singing it or thinking about it throughout the day.

But studies show that the same parts of your brain that play a song on repeat become distracted by the repetitive nature of chewing gum—so you can get that song out of your head!

Gum Benefit #12: Prevents Dry Mouth

Throat hurts
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Since chewing gum can help stimulate your glands to produce more saliva, it is a great way to treat the effects of dry mouth.

There are plenty of ways that simple, sugar-free chewing gum can make your body better—so grab a stick and get chewing!

If you love indulging in a little gum chewing, make sure to SHARE with friends and family on Facebook.