Gum jumped from the confectionary to the wellbeing category just a few years ago by boasting health benefits from cavity prevention to weight control. Numerous health agencies and professional health associations, including the American Dental Association and the American Dietetic Association, are in agreement that gum is good for you.

Kraft Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld, on a recent conference call with analysts after Kraft increased its bid to takeover Cadbury said "gum in particular has enjoyed the most rapid growth, capitalizing on its health and functional benefits."

According to Stephen J. Moss, DDS, MS, a past President of the American Pediatric Dental Association, there are a multitude of benefits associated with stimulating salivary flow through chewing. Dr. Moss said, "Gum is a convenient and pleasant way to stimulate salivary flow. You could just chew on wax but gum is readily available and tastes better."

Dr. Moss continued to explain that there is a great deal of research to support that gum chewing is associated with both oral and overall health benefits, such as, teeth cleaning, plaque reduction, tooth enamel strengthening, helping to prevent tooth decay, reduce gingivitis and gum bleeding.

Some overall health benefits touted by both Wrigley and Cadbury, the two largest gum manufactures, include: increased strength during strenuous activity, improvement of task performance, improvement of short-term memory, improvement of ability to concentrate, useful in weight control, smoking cessation, improvement of mood and feeling of wellbeing and stress relief.