The common myth around chewing gum suggests if you swallow a piece, it will stay in your gut for years without being passed. This is not true. The gum base of chewing gum is relatively indigestible, but your digestive system is smart. Your gut will keep moving the chewing gum along, pushing it through your intestines until it leaves your body around two days later after being consumed.
Most chewing gum products are made from a blend of synthetic materials — elastomers, resins and waxes — and also includes artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame, sorbitol or mannitol), softeners (glycerin or other vegetable oil products), flavourings and colourings. So you don’t really want to swallow large amounts of it, but the occasional piece won’t hurt you.
The benefits of gum are many. Chewing gum has been proven to significantly increase alertness, quicken reaction time, and increase the speed at which new information is encoded into your mind. It does not impair your ability to pay attention by distracting you from your current task.
If you chew gum after eating, you will increase the production of saliva. This helps to neutralise plaque acid, which attacks the protective surface of your teeth and weakens it, leading to gradual decay. Plaque acid is stimulated after eating and sweet, sticky foods are the worst culprits. Chewing gum helps to balance the acid in your mouth, preventing tooth decay. It also helps to wash away food particles and remineralise tooth enamel to strengthen teeth.
A study in 2015 revealed chewing bubblegum can stop songs from replaying in your mind. So if you have a catchy tune that’s driving you crazy, pop a piece of gum in your mouth to eliminate the tune.
Remember to only chew sugarfree gum. If you chew regular gum, you are absorbing refined sugar. It’s the equivalent of sucking on a lolly, and is bad for your teeth.