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The Health Benefits of Chewing Gum

By Sara Butler

Some people love chewing gum, others can go without it -- but most people have probably chewed a piece or two in their lives. You may even be chewing a piece as you're reading this! If you are, there's good news for you. There are some definite health benefits to chewing gum, here are just a few!

Improved Oral Health

Your oral health is very important since it contributes to your overall health and wellness. After you eat, food is left in your teeth. This gets broken down by the little microbes that live in your mouth. The problem is, these little microbes create acids that are not good for your teeth and gums.

Chewing a piece of gum after a meal helps to amp up your saliva production and this can help neutralize the acids in your mouth. Researchers have also found that gum can help to trap bacteria and remove it from your teeth and gums.

If you choose gum with the ingredient xylitol, then you may be adding an extra layer of protection since this ingredient can reduce acid-producing bacteria in your mouth.

Improved Alertness

If you've got something coming up that you need laser-focus for, then you may want to consider chewing on a stick of gum. Researchers have found that chewing gum before tasks in which the focus was key helped to increase attention and alertness. This may be due to the fact that chewing increases blood flow to the brain, so give it a shot!

Anxiety Reduction

If you tend to get stressed out and anxious, gum might be what you need to help. Several studies have found that chewing gum helps reduce levels of stress and anxiety. This, again, may have to do with the increased blood flow to the brain, but the jury is still out on why chewing gum might help.

The Takeaway

Gum chewing is a little bit like drinking coffee: It's a habit many people have in which there are mixed feeling about its health and wellness; however, studies are finding new information all the time to support that it's a good thing. Excessive gum chewing, much like excessive coffee drinking, may not have the desired effects, but chewing gum a little may have a positive impact on several aspects of your health.

Go ahead -- chew your gum and know it's benefiting your health!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lynnwood, Wash.

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