Is chewing gum bad for you?

I’ve been getting into the habit of chewing gum a lot. Some people find it a really gross habit I know, but I’m getting a little addicted to it.

It started off because I have this ‘restless jaw’. For some reason, when I get tensed or stressed I get this really weird tickley muscle tension feeling inside my jaw. The only way to relieve it is to chew, so if I don’t chew food or gum I end up chewing my tongue and cheeks which is a really bad habit to have for obvious reasons.

I then discovered Xylitol gum which is good for preventing cavities. So I started chewing gum after lunch to get rid of the food taste in my mouth and to help protect my teeth. It’s now getting into such a habit that I’m chewing gum three or four times a day.

Is chewing gum bad for you?

I’ve done a little bit of research and I’ve discovered that chewing gum isn’t so bad for you after all. As long as you follow these simple rules.

  1. Don’t chew gum with added sugar or chemicals, ESPECIALLY avoid aspartame (look for numbers 950 and 951).
  2. If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) don’t chew a lot of gum because it has a laxative effect and chewing gum causes you to swallow excess air which can make you bloated.
  3. Don’t swallow the gum! Chewing gum is a very sticky substance that is not food and is not meant to be swallowed.

Be careful what gum you chew

gum.gif

Most chewing gums contain Aspartame (951) which is a very nasty chemical and only one of a few that can penetrate through your blood brain barrier. It’s really important not to consume this chemical. Read my blog article, DO NOT eat these foods for more information.

The only place I can find chemical and sugar free gum in Brisbane is in health food stores. There are two brands that I’ve found, Sweet Life Dental and Spry. Both gums are:

  • sugar free
  • contain no artificial sweeteners or Aspartame
  • are gluten free and GMO free

12590-2.jpgXylitol may have a funny chemical sounding name, but it’s a naturally occurring sweetener found in plants such as corn cobs and birch trees that can be used as a sugar substitute and helps protect your teeth and gums at the same time. I’m a big fan. Chewing xylitol gum prevents oral bacteria producing acid, and helps stimulate saliva in the mouth. This helps restore the natural pH balance which maintains healthy tooth enamel and gums.

If anybody’s heard of any reasons why I shouldn’t be chewing gum, then please let me know. I’m happy to kick this habit if it’s doing me more harm than good.

Frances Kerr

14 comments… add one

  • Gabriel

    Very informative comments! Ive asked my dentist and he said as long as it doesnt contain artificial sweetners or sugar and is used in moderation( like everything ) that its ok. And if it contains xylitol it can be very beneficial for the health of your mouth, again though in moderation. Ive been chewing all natural gum with xylitol ever since i quit chewing tobacco, alcohol, soda pop, and marijuana. I can say for a fact that chewing gum is healthier than all of those(i know duh) and if it can help curb those awful habits, for 2years now, you cant tell me its bad. With that said if the worst problems i could have is a sore jaw and an upset tummy lol…ill take that anyday over the problems that develope from my previous habits.

  • Frankii

    I chew gum- not excessively, and I find it actually helps my jaws relax. Many people think it’s really yucky or bad but I think it’s nice, and I find it helps if I’m hungry! It does make you burp but it helps with trapped wind.

  • Connie

    I’m trying to slim and I like to chew every now and then food so I heard chewing gum with sorbitol helps u loose weight and now I can’t leave without a gum in my mouth but I m experiencing the bloating thing after wards and the the thing is I feel like am addicted.i rest chewing a gum by sleeping . Deeply Worried

  • Emi holden

    Hi what can Wrigleys Extra peppermint SUGERFREE gum do to my body

    can it be dangerous? and sorry i cant spell half the time i have problams

  • Michelle

    I chew a lot of nicorette and have been experiencing some jaw problems. I looked it up and found that excessive gum chewing can lead to jaw pain/discomfort (and can lead to TMJ), as well as causing issues with your teeth such as loss of enamel, erosion of gum line. So I guess it depends on how much you chew, for how long, etc. I would say if you start noticing pain/tension/discomfort in your jaw area or on your face, try cutting back and see if it helps. I totally agree with you about those artificial sweeteners. I’m a big fan of xylitol, also!…. By the way Ammura, mint has a stomach-soothing quality to it. If you were chewing mint gum, that might have been why it helped. (Good to know something does help with that ;) I love mint tea, and also chew on mint leaves if I have them on hand when I’m feeling queasy.

  • My daughter has special needs, and chews a lot of gum. Her mother is quite strict about NOT chewing gum and saying it’s bad for her. When she visits me, I advise her it’s only bad for her in excess but I don’t know enough about it. So I decided to look it up. Now she can have an informed choice. She does have mild emotional difficulties, and this could explain her excessive need for gum and sweets.

  • i have a habit of chewing gum so many times in a about 4-16 pieces of gum i would bre chewing in a day

  • ammura

    Throughout my 2 pregnancies, I was quite queasy, especially with the 2nd one, so the only thing that helped me was chewing gum. I guess it was more of a distraction rather than a cure, but it did the job. Even now, when I start feeling queasy, chewing gum seems to ease the nausea. I have never had any problems with burping or feeling hungry. Au contraire, chewing gum helps curb my hunger. On the show, the Biggest Loser, Jillian Michaels has her team chew gum to curb their hunger.

  • some studies convey that chewing gum can hold an backhanded electropositive import on your teeth. Gum can stimulate production of spittle and increase salivary flux. Spittle is a uncolored buffering factor which washes the teeth and neutralizes many of the acid produced by bacteria. It is the resolvent which erodes enamel and yet causes cavities. Also, some grouping do not create sufficient spittle. One speculate showed that after manduction gum for 10 minutes apiece waking time for two weeks, participants hyperbolic their salivary course to a structural layer and hyperbolic salivary pH and buffering susceptibleness.On the new manus, gum typically contains both typewrite of flavourer. Brands of gum containing dulcify can be unfavorable to your teeth if these types of gum are chewed too ofttimes or are distant from the interpreter too soon. In fact, studies human shown that if a mortal chews gum containing sweetening, it should be chewed for at minimal 15 to 20 minutes. After this minute, the dulcorate is expended, but the secretion is sufficiently excited to remotion inaccurate few of the edulcorate residue.

  • Hi Kevin,

    I think Aspartic acid is okay. I didn’t bring my chemical maze book with me to Canada though so I can’t look it up!

    If you ever want to look into ingredients in foods and cosmetics, this book comes highly recommended by me:

    http://www.highonhealth.org/a-book-i-cannot-live-without/

  • kevin

    I was wondering if aspartic acid is unhealthy.Cause its in this new supplement drink that I’m taking.

  • kevin

    The same jaw thing happens to me when I get angry. Except I choose to do it, I just start tensing the area around my jaw.But I dont think there’s anything wrong with doing that. But chewing gum can make you light headed and hungry because when you start chewing your stomach is under the assumption that food will be coming down sometime soon and so the longer you chew for the more restless your digestive system gets. Sometimes it makes you burp alot too.

  • Yeah that’s what I thought, but I couldn’t find any information about why it’s bad for the digestive system. I know, it is a bit yuck.

    I’ve had this jaw thing on and off for years now, I’ve asked my GP, Chinese Herbalist, European Herbalist and Acupuncturist about it and they all pretty much say the same thing, that it’s tied to emotions. Of course. The Chinese Herbalist in particular said that stress moves around your body and mine goes into my jaw. Makes sense because I get it when I’m stressed!

  • HolisticGal

    I have heard that chewing gum screws with the digestive system. Maybe Eric knows for sure. I have banned all gum from our home. I hate it…:)

    If you have restless jaw, see if you are lacking in a mineral or need a chiropractic or tooth adjustment.

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