The chewing process forms an easy-to-swallow food mass
side requires a simple 1-step chewing process.
The gums give you pleasure, but its benefits are not limited with this. In addition to meet the demand for a sweet and refreshing thing, gums also provide several other advantages. Firstly, we can say that chewing process accelerates the production of salivary, which is a natural defense mechanism for your mouth.
What happens during the mastication or chewing process?
The production of sufficient saliva is indispensable for good chewing. Recent research has demonstrated that saliva flow rate has little influence on the swallowing threshold. Flow rate does not influence sensory ratings. Apparently, subjects are used to their amounts of saliva. Therefore, the influence of additional fluid on the chewing process is still unknown. Objectives: We studied the influence of an artificial increase of fluids in the mouth on the swallowing threshold, muscle activity and jaw movements during chewing of natural food. Methods: Twenty healthy subjects participated in the study. They chewed on the following natural foods (8 cm3): toast (Melba toast); breakfast cake; carrot; peanut and Gouda cheese. In addition they chewed on this foods while different volumes of tap water (5 and 10 ml), artificial saliva containing mucins (5 ml of Saliva Orthana) and á-amylase solution (5 ml; bacillus subtilis) were added. The electrical activity of the masseter and anterior temporalis muscles was recorded bilaterally and the masticatory mandibular movements were recorded by an optoelectronic device. Results: We observed large differences among subjects and foods in the number of chewing cycles to prepare food for swallowing. Also the amount of muscle activity varied largely for the different foods. The additional fluids significantly lowered the swallowing threshold for both cake and Melba toast, whereas the effect was less pronounced for cheese, carrots and peanuts. The effect of the mucins and á-amylase in the solutions was rather limited. Doubling the volume of tap water had a larger effect. Adding a fluid to the food lowered the muscle activity during chewing for cake and Melba toast, whereas it had no effect for the other foods. Conclusions: Additional fluids facilitate chewing of dry foods like cake and Melba, but do not influence chewing of fatty products (cheese, peanut) and wet products (carrot).