Chew on this: the positive effects of chewing gum


Many different brands of gum wait to be purchased on the store shelves.

The one thing every student has in their backpack is chewing gum. Thousands of years ago, gum served a different purpose. The Mayans and Aztecs used a natural tree gum, similar to the sap from a tree, they called “chicle” to originally put things together by using the sticky properties it had.

Now, this gum-like substance has since been transformed into what we know as chewing gum and is carried in the bags of students nearly everywhere. When compared to the 1840s version of gum, not much has changed since then, including the purpose of which we chew the gum. From decreasing anxiety to removing nausea, this confection has a wide variety of effects on the human body.

High schoolers are typically stereotyped to be more anxious and worried than the average adult, as shown by the 13% difference between teens and adults having an anxiety disorder. This is why so many teenagers are probably chewing gum.

Neurocore Brain Performance Centers sharest that blood oxygenates our brains, and when we chew gum it increases our blood flow. The now improved blood flow correlates to decreasing anxiety and bettering the way the brain functions. This is also known to affect concentration and memory. The chemical cortisol is also released when chewing gum, furthering the effects it has on levels of anxiety and frustration.

PMC labs has recently done a study regarding the awareness of subjects while chewing gum. The study found that those who were chewing gum when a loud noise was heard had less of a reaction than those that weren’t, proving that gum is an excellent way to decrease stress from an external factor.

It’s already well-known that most students and people with anxiety enjoy fidgeting, whether it be chewing the inside of their lips or picking at their cuticles. They often don’t know what to do in order to curb that urge. Chewing gum is an excellent way to fidget with a lesser chance of harming yourself.

There are many flavors of chewing gum, including a few that happen to be minty. Mint is known to help soothe the stomach and aid in removing nausea for many people. While in the car or right before a big test, chewing gum would be an excellent time to pop out a piece of Trident and chew to your heart’s content. This way, not only will you become less anxious but your stomach will also be a bit more at ease and relaxed. A lot of doctors recommend their patients chew gum prior to many procedures to relax their nerves and stomachs.

Dentists are often seen chewing a piece of sugar free gum while working on a patient or even waiting for one. Gum is able to improve breath and lessen plaque acid which allows for stronger teeth and less tooth decay. XyloBurst, Peppersmith, Glee Gum, Trident, and Orbit are all ADA approved brands that dentists often recommend to their very own patients.

While some argue that chewing gum could promote tooth decay, they fail to mention that the gums that cause this are gums that include sugar.

Most, if not all, gums recommended by doctors are sugar free and still have all of the positive effects mentioned above. Even if sugared gum is preferred, as long as there is proper dental hygiene practiced, and it’s chewed in moderation and not excessively, then the effects shouldn’t be too severe on the teeth.

It’s possible that the reason chewing gum is so popular is because people don’t realize the positive effects it can have on them in the long run. It’s an excellent way to innocently promote mental health and physical health. To think it all started with something as menial as tree sap…