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Why Do People Need To Chew?

Why Do People Need To Chew?

Why do people need to chew? You’ve come to the right place to find out!

Why Do People Need To Chew?

If you’re a chewer or your child chews you might have wondered why? Perhaps you’ve tried to stop chewing, but it didn’t work?

Did you know that chewing is a very common stim, and stimming is an essential part of self-regulation.

That’s because chewing is related to our sensory processing system!

It’s quite common for autistic people and people with sensory difficulties to have problems with their sensory system. This is all to do with our senses and how our brain responds to the messages they send us.

So let’s find out why we chew and how we can help.

The 5 Senses

We are commonly taught that we have five senses:


But we actually have 8!

The 3 less commonly known senses are:


Understanding what is going on inside of our bodies. It lets us know if we are hungry or thirsty or if we need to go to the toilet. People who struggle with interception may forget to eat or struggle with potty training.


Our sense of balance and spatial awareness. The vestibular purpose is coordination movement and balance so if you struggle with vestibular, you may have problems riding a bike.


Also known as our 6th sense and is our body awareness. Knowing which parts of our body do what and where our limbs are in space. The proprioceptive system forms sensory input that sends messages to the muscles and joints in our bodies. That is how we know where our limbs are in relation to objects and people. If you struggle with proprioception, you may struggle with things like catching a ball.

Why Do People Need To Chew?

If you have difficulties with your proprioceptive system, it can cause problems with movement and levels of arousal. Signals are sent from our senses to our brain, but they can get jumbled up causing our brain to form inappropriate responses. This can cause incorrect sensory signals to be sent to the muscles in your oral sensory system and can cause the need to bite or chew, which can also cause sensory overload.

Sensory overload is where one or more of our senses experiences over stimulation and a sensory overload can display with lots of unwanted behaviours.

A Sensory Overload

Can cause stress, fear, anxiety, Irritability, lack of focus, shouting, screaming, biting, chewing, covering ears, covering eyes, running away and hiding amongst other behaviours.

Everyone will experience sensory overload differently and if you can catch it before it goes too far, self-regulating and stimming can help.


Is a natural behaviour that we do to calm and regulate our sensory system. Self-stimulatory behaviour consists of repetitive movements & sounds and can help us to:

Self soothe
Block out too much sensory input
Feel calm
Reduce anxiety
Provide extra sensory input
Prevent sensory overload
Control our impulses
Manage our emotions
Regulate our sensory system

Some examples of stimming (there are many more) are:

Knuckle cracking
Toe crunching
Listening to music

Stimming is self-regulating and really important. It happens when we need to regulate the proprioceptive system. By regulating that system, it can help us to feel calm, safe and organised.

Why Do People Need To Chew?

Stimming is like breathing, just as natural, just as important!

The Mighty


Chewing is a common stim and addressing the need to chew is very important. We can support the need to chew by trying some oral proprioceptive activities like:

Bubble Blowing
Whistle Blowing
Blowing through straws
Chewing gum
Eating Crunchy foods like carrots
Sucking on boiled sweets
Bouncing on trampolines
Sucking yogurts and milkshakes through a straw
And Chewigems

Chewing is such a great way to calm and organise the sensory system.

The good thing about Chewigem’s is that they are portable, so you can pop them in your bag, around your neck and take them everywhere! Plus they are super easy to clean.

Chewing is a great way to calm the sensory system, self regulate and stim!


We’ve been helping the sensory community for over 12 years now and no one knows our products better than us. So if you’re unsure which Chewigem to start with speak to us and we can help guide you to the right product.

Why Do People Need To Chew?

93% of people say Chewigem helps them feel calmer

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