Chewing sugar-free gum can be beneficial in maintaining good dental health. It can play a role by preventing decay of the teeth. Many of its benefits come from the increase in the flow of saliva it stimulates which helps to neutralize acids produced by plaque and also helps to wash away food particles in the mouth. It should be noted that even with the benefits of sugar-free gum, it cannot be a substitute for regular tooth brushing and checkup visits to the dentist. Some of the benefits of chewing sugar-free gum are as follows:
1. The world dental federation specifically recommended sugar–free gum as a simple and effective way for families and individuals to improve their oral health alongside other equally
essential oral care behaviors such as brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste.
2. Chewing sugar–free gum helps to stimulate the salivary glands to produce a ten-fold increase in the flow of saliva. This in turn helps to clean the mouth of:
A. food debris and sugars
B. helps to neutralize plaque acids in the mouth.
C. supports remineralization of the teeth.
D. ultimately reduces dental caries.
3. Chewing sugar-free gum three times per day after meals helps to reduce or lower the risk of dental caries or tooth decay.
4. Chewing sugar–free gum contributes to the reduction of oral dryness.
5. It helps to relieve stress and anxiety by decreasing the stress hormone, Cortisol.
6. Chewing sugar–free gum helps to relieve acid reflux and heartburn. It does this by reducing acid in the esophagus due to increase in saliva production in the mouth.
7. Helps to relieve ear pain during flights, it could be very distressful when you have ear pain during takeoff and landing of an aeroplane. Chewing sugar- free gum helps to produce saliva
which then makes you to swallow more and thereby helps to balance the pressure in your ears.
8. Chewing sugar–free gum helps improve memory, concentration and alertness. Chewing sugar-free gum helps to increase the blood flow to the brain. This leads to an
increase in the amount of oxygen reaching the brain thus leading to increase in brain function.
9. Helps to fight dependence on additive substances. Chewing helps to reduce our cravings or desire for cigarettes, caffeine and snacks as a result of the physical act of gum chewing.
10. It may play a role in weight loss because chewing gum after eating lunch leads to a decrease in appetite later on in the day which in turn leads to less calories consumption and weight gain.
11. It reduces bad breath or mouth odour.