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Monday, February 9, 2009

The benefits of sugarless gum may go beyond healthier teeth

Recently, researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill found that sugar free gum helped bladder patients have bowel movements sooner than those who did not chew gum. This may be an important discovery because bladder surgery and other abdominal surgeries cause the bowels to stop working for as many as four days. During this time, patients may suffer from painful bloating, nausea, and even vomiting. Researchers, found that sorbitol (a sweetener in most sugarless gums) had a laxative effect upon patients who were constipated.

Although, this study found that sugarless gum has a laxative effect on patients, other studies has shown that chewing sugarless gum has no laxative effect at all. Still, other studies have found that chewing too much sugar free gum may lead to chronic diarrhea and unhealthy weight loss.

Also, for what it's worth, casual gum chewers are not likely to feel the laxative "benefits" of sugarless gum because an individual has to chew at least a pack of gum a day to experience the laxative benefits of sugarless gum.

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At August 24, 2009 11:09 PM , Anonymous Dentist Palmdale said...

That's a very interesting study. I am just wondering how many gums does a person have to consume to have that "laxative effect"? I am just curious, because there are many people consuming sugarless gum.

At December 3, 2009 11:51 PM , Anonymous Dentist Amarillo said...

I completely agree with this. Most of us are familiar with the negative aspects of chewing gum, when we find it on chairs, stuck under desks or contaminating pavements and therefore our shoes. However, there are also many benefits to chewing gum.

Studies have shown that chewing gum can have an indirect, positive effect on dental hygiene, teeth health. Chewing gum after meals helps to stimulate the production of saliva and overall salivary flow. Saliva helps to wash away and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria in plaque. This acid is responsible for dental decay and bad breath. Chewing gum can also help relieve pressure in your ears and sinuses by encouraging jaw movement.


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