Side Effects of Chewing Gum

Many people chew gum for different reasons—some, to relieve themselves from stress or to overcome their cravings; and others, because they simply like the flavor or because they need to freshen their breath.

But after reading the list below, we’d doubt you’d reach for another stick of gum again without thinking twice.

You More Likely to Develop Junk Food Binges

Chewing gum is frequently effective in overcoming food cravings and at reducing hunger. At least that’s what we all thought until the journal Eating Behaviors published a study disproving it.

According to the study, gum chewing only reduces our intake of healthy food like fruits because mint-flavored gums give fruits and vegetables a bitter taste. In addition, the study showed that when we chew gum, we more likely are motivated to eat more junk food such as candies and chips.

It Can Trigger Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)

Aside from TMJ(a painful chronic condition of the jaw), the act of gum chewing can also cause an imbalance in the jaw muscle when you chew more on one side than the other. And overtime people who end up with contradicted muscles of the jaw develop earaches, headaches, or toothaches.

Tooth Damage: You’ll Rot Your Teeth

When you chew a gum, you are essentially risking your teeth to damage. Whatever kind of gum you chew, may it be artificially-flavored, sugar-sweetened or sugar-free, one thing is for sure: chewing contributes to tooth decay and dental erosion. Just ask a Scottsdale cosmetic dentist about it.

Stomach Issues: You Could Develop GI Problems

Gum chewing causes you to swallow air which contributes to bloating, cramping and abdominal pain—symptoms commonly present in people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Additionally, it can compromise your digestive system by releasing enzymes and acids even if there’s no actual food to digest. This overproduction of stomach acids, therefore, leads to bloating.

You’re Releasing Mercury into Your System

If you have dental fillings, chewing gum may not be an option for you. Another problem with gum chewing is that it increases the release the mercury vapor from your fillings into your system. This then, may cause neurological problems, mental disorders, as well as chronic illnesses.

You’re Chewing Sheep By-products

You read that right. Chewing gum contains sheep wool fat, widely known as lanolin, which helps keep the gum soft. Lanolin is a waxy substance secreted from the sheep’s harvested wool. Though this does not pose a serious health threat, knowing where it comes from does not make it very appetizing now, does it?

About The Author

Dr. Koch

Dr. Robert Koch

Dr. Robert Koch earned a Masters degree in Biomedical Science and Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Midwestern University. Dr. Koch’s patient-first approach to dentistry is rooted in education for both himself and his patients. Staying up to date with the latest advances in dentistry allows him to offer the best treatment plans for his patients. He aims to educate and inform patients in a comforting environment that allows patients to feel confident in the decision-making process of their treatment.