There’s a lot of hearsay about chewing gum's effect on the whole body. An April 2015 study showed that chewing bubblegum can actually stop songs from replaying in your mind, while common lore says gum can get lodged into your intestines and hang out for years.

Don’t have a catchy tune stuck in your head? Pop a piece of gum anyway — there are many other health benefits.

What is chewing gum?

The base used for most gum products is a blend of synthetic materials — elastomers, resins and waxes — according to the American Dental Association. Typical chewing gum also includes artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame, sorbitol or mannitol), softeners (glycerin or other vegetable oil products), flavorings and colorings.

What are the dental benefits of chewing gum?

The physical act of chewing increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, which is where the benefits stem from. Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. No, this doesn’t mean that chewing gum can replace brushing and flossing.

The ADA suggests chewing sugarfree gum to avoid cavities.

Mental benefits

Chewing gum may benefit your brain most of all. Overall, it has been proven to significantly increase alertness, quicken reaction time and increase the speed that new information is encoded into your mind.

Don’t worry, gum chewing does not impair your ability to pay attention by distracting you from your current task.

Digestive benefits

In order to improve digestion, try chewing gum that contains xylitol just before or after a meal. Fitday reported that the increased saliva builds up the amount of acid that is in your stomach, making your food easier to digest.

Read more:

Sugar-Free Gum Could Save You From Oral Health Problems, And The NHS $9 Million A Year On Dental Treatments

Oral Health Hack: Chewing Gum Removes Up To 100M Bacteria In 10 Minutes, Similar To Flossing