Researchers at Holland’s University of Groningen have data that suggests chewing gum may have dental health benefits. The team observed that after chewing gum for 10 minutes, up to 100 million bacteria were removed from the mouth. That’s 1/10 of the bacteria that lives in our mouths! They used an electron microscope to test their mouths post-chewing. But, after testing their mouths after more than 10 minutes of gum, the bacteria had gathered around the gums, and were not removed—just redistributed. This study offers a new idea to test: could chewing gum properly and for the right time be as useful as flossing? More data is certainly needed.
Of course, these effects are limited to sugar-free gum! If your gum of choice has an sugar, then the advice is: stop.