SUMMARY: Chewing a piece of sugar-free gum, whether it's minty fresh or traditional bubble gum, can be advantageous for your mouth, teeth, and gums.

You might chomp down on a stick of gum after a meal as a force of habit, but do you know how beneficial this simple act can be? According to Wise Bread, chewing gum improves concentration and memory, combats stress and anxiety and even reduces acid reflux and heartburn. But that's not all - chewing a piece of sugarfree gum, whether it's minty fresh or traditional bubble gum, can be advantageous for your mouth, teeth and gums as well.

Here are a few of the many oral health benefits of chewing gum:

Increased saliva flow

As you chew bubble gum, saliva flow increases in your mouth. Not only does saliva keep your mouth from drying out, but it helps your teeth remineralize, reduces bacteria that leads to tooth decay, ensures healthy pH levels in the mouth and can even repair and regenerate damaged tissue from cuts from a canker sore or accidentally biting your lip or cheek.

Reduced cavity risk

The increased flow of saliva in your mouth produced by chewing gum can reduce your cavity risk in many ways, according to Mouth Healthy, an initiative by the American Dental Association. First, the saliva washes away leftover food particles stuck in your teeth after eating. It can also neutralize the acids brought on by bad bacteria that often lead to diseases like gingivitis. Lastly, saliva carries calcium and phosphate, which coats your teeth and assists with strengthening and protecting tooth enamel.

Essentially, chewing gum has a huge impact on your overall oral wellness thanks to its ability to produce more saliva in your mouth. So, the next time you feel like you need to wet your whistle, perhaps you just need to chew a piece of gum.

Improved breath

Likely the most common reason you reach for a stick of gum after dinner, chewing gum is known for stabilizing bad breath and producing a more pleasant scent from your mouth. Strong flavors have plenty to do with helping your breath reach optimal freshness, but that's not the only contributing factor. As stated earlier, saliva plays a key role in reducing dry mouth, a condition that causes bad breath. With enough saliva production from chewing gum, acids produced by plaque are neutralized and dead cells that accumulate all over the gums, tongue, cheeks and teeth are eliminated, ultimately reducing your chance of having bad breath.

It's important to remember that sugar-free gum is your best option when it comes to improved oral health, as chewing a pack that's loaded with sugar can impact your teeth, tongue and gums negatively.