What does chewing gum have to do with my health?

The last thing you think about while chewing gum is your health. But it affects your health in more ways than one. It has some advantages, disadvantages, and even some unintended side effects. So while you are working towards a pleasant breath, think about all these factors listed in the article.

Chewing gum advantages

The American dental Association actually approves sugar-free gums because they increase the flow of saliva, thereby reducing plaque, strengthening the teeth and reducing tooth decay. Research has also discovered that the action of chewing gum can help enhance memory and concentrate and reduce strain.


Some other advantages of chewing gum are:

- Chewing gum may improve your concentration.Your memory and response time may also improve. It's thought that chewing boosts blood flow to the brain. Consequently, this increases the quantity of oxygen available to the mind. This may enhance cognitive function.

- Chewing causes more saliva to accumulate, which can flush out acidity. Chewing gum functions to decrease acid in the stomach for people with acid reflux issues. The action of chewing can improve your saliva production, and make you swallow more. This permits any acidity in your mouth to be cleared more quickly.

 - You may even see even more acidity relief if you chew bicarbonate gum. Bicarbonate can neutralize the acidity within the esophagus. Your saliva contains bicarbonate. If you chew gum with bicarbonate, you are not just increasing saliva production, you are also adding more bicarbonate to the mix. This can amplify its neutralizing effects.

 

A research study published in the Journal of Dental Research, indicates that chewing sugar-free gum for half an hour after eating may reduce symptoms of acid reflux. 

Chewing gum disadvantages

- Stomach Issues:

Continuous chewing of gum can lead to the overworking of your stomach and intestines. After you eat, your stomach needs time to digest the food, but chewing and constant swallowing of saliva interferes with that. Stomach problems that could arise in those scenarios are irritation, aches, and aggravated gastritis. 


- Tooth Decay

Sugared gums can with heavy usage cause tooth decay, gum disease and cavities. That happens because sugar coats the teeth, and may gradually lead to damaging of tooth decay if they're not immediately brushed. To reduce harmful effects of sugared gums, find gum brands that use smaller amounts of sugar.

 

- Artificial Sweetener Allergies

Almost all popular sugar Brands use artificial sweeteners to make their products more lasing, sweeter or to attain special sort of taste. A few of those artificial sweeteners may cause allergic reaction, particularly Aspartame and Sorbitol. Others can lead to irritation or headaches.

 

- Jaw Stress

Though many gum manufacturers claim their products can be used all of the time and on any event, detailed studies reveal that habitual use of chewing gums can cause constant stress in your jaws. If not controlled, this stress may result in the condition called Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TJD), which can be manifested with powerful facial pain and fantastic distress in the back of the throat.

 


Chewing gum side effects

- Kidney problems

If the cavities in your teeth are full of mercury fillings, regular chewing of gun might cause their dislodging and discharging of the dangerous material on your metabolism. This targets the blood, urinary tract, nerves and brain.

 

- Irregular growth of facial muscles

Extensive chewing of gum in puberty can cause the stimulation of jawbone and facial muscles and creation of bigger face.

 

- Chewing gum and acid reflux

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. This tube is called the esophagus. When this occurs, that all-too-familiar burning feeling, regurgitated food, or a sour taste may lead to. Chewing gum may decrease inflammation and soothe your esophagus. This is because chewing gum triggers your saliva to become more alkaline. This can neutralize the acid in your stomach.


- Social distraction

In many contemporary cultures, people have accepted that chewing a gum in certain social environments  such as public places, college, office, etc.  is distracting and irritating. In Singapore, there is a law that bans chewing gum sales - except for those with health benefits, which one can purchase only at a pharmacy! Please consider what social impacts your gum gum will lead to the people around you.

 

These effects may vary - depending on the sort of gum you are chewing.

Sweeteners, alcohols, & preservatives in gum

But additionally, there are some possible problems with gum that you need to know about. One small scale study found an association between gum chewing and headaches, probably due to the tension chewing creates on your jaw.

Most gums are also sweetened with either sugar or sugar-free substitutes made with sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and maltitol. You are aware that sugar is bad for you but other sweeteners are not necessarily the best either.

Sugar alcohols are poorly absorbed, so they can cause digestive issues in many individuals like gas, bloating, and diarrhea in some individuals. A medical case study even described two patients who fully solved their digestive symptoms after stopping their pack-a-day gum chewing.

While you will find organic and natural chewing gum brands available today, most conventional gum you'll see in the supermarket includes additives and preservatives. Some of these are deemed harmful when ingested, such as butylated hydroxytoluene and carbon dioxide.

References

1. Moazzez R1, Bartlett D, Anggiansah A., J Dent Res. 2005 Nov;84(11):1062-5., The effect of chewing sugar-free gum on gastro-esophageal reflux.

2. Tuncer D, Onen A, Yazici AR. Effect of chewing gums with xylitol, sorbitol and xylitol-sorbitol on the remineralization and hardness of initial enamel lesions in situ. Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2014;11(5):537–543.

3. http://www.chewinggumfacts.com/chewing-gum-benefits/chewing-gum-negative-effects/

4. https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/chewing-gum-acid-reflux

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