Chewing gum has been around since the time of ancient Greece, where people made a chewable substance from the resin of the mastic tree. Chewing gum has evolved over time to where it is now sold in a variety of types and flavors. Adults and children alike enjoy chewing gum, but while chewing gum can have its advantages, such as freshening breath, it can also have its disadvantages. Being aware of the detrimental effects of gum can help consumers make healthful decisions when next purchasing and planning on chewing gum.
1. Plaque Formation
Plaque is a clear biofilm of buildup on the teeth that can lead to both tooth decay and gum disease. Chewing gum or eating any food can cause plaque to form. After consuming food or chewing gum, plaque can formulate on the teeth within a few hours. The bacteria found in plaque can directly lead to tooth decay. If plaque is not removed from teeth quickly enough through brushing and flossing, bacteria can calcify, turn in to tartar and eventually lead to gingivitis if left untreated.
2. Tooth Decay
Chewing sugared gum can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. The chewing gum literally coats the teeth with sugar and can be especially destructive if you don’t brush your teeth immediately after chewing. Switching to a sugarless brand can alleviate the problem.
3. Unhealthy components of Chewing Gum
Other than sugar, chewing gum has many ingredients in that are not necessarily good for you in the long term. like aspartame and other sweeteners that are known carcinogens (cancer inducing factors) .
4. Tooth and Jaw Issues
Most gum companies talk about the longevity of their gum products, seldom mentioning the disadvantages or detrimental effects this could have on your jaw. Frequent gum chewing can contribute to a condition known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), which is caused by constant stress being placed on the jaws. Symptoms of TMJ include severe facial pain and discomfort in the back of the neck. In addition, TMJ can cause headaches. The disorder is hard to cure, especially if the continuous chewing of gum occurs.
Frequent chewing over time can also result in the wearing down of tooth enamel. In individuals who are susceptible to dental caries, a thin enamel can cause the caries to spread even faster, and a sugar – containing chewing gum will only accelerate the decay rate even more.
5. Stomach issues
Most of the chewing gum contains powerful gastric juice. According gastroenterologists, chewing on an empty stomach can trigger or aggravate gastritis or other stomach troubles. It has been observed that the content of chewing gums which are usually rubber base, sweeteners, combined with fragrances and softeners are obviously not good for health.
6. Cinnamon Irritation
For some people, chewing cinnamon gum can harm the tongue by causing irritation. When chewing a stick of cinnamon-flavored gum, some people experience soreness, inflammation or even sores and lesions along the border of the tongue. This is due to an allergy to cinnamaldehyde, the primary chemical that gives cinnamon its spicy flavor. While a mild burning sensation on the tongue may occur due to the spiciness of cinnamon flavored chewing gum, sores and lesions on the tongue are a sign of a cinnamon allergy. However, once the person stops chewing cinnamon flavored gum, the symptoms should dissipate within 1 to 2 days.
Chewing gum loudly or making a cracking noise while chewing will annoy some people. School students may also find themselves facing the wrath of an angry teacher when chewing gum is not permitted in the classroom. In the history of American education, teachers and students have been involved in a battle of wills and wits over the issue of gum chewing. Teachers, backed by administrators, have forbidden students to chew gum in the classroom. Students have rebelled against these restrictions and sought to chew gum without being caught since the inception of such policies.
While sugary gum can be detrimental to your dental health, sugar-free gum acts as a positive alternative. If chewed in moderation, the surface of the calorie-free gum can help remove food particles and remnants of sugar from between the teeth and gums. In addition, sugar-free gum contains xylitol, a natural sweetener that is found in fruits, plants and trees. Xylitol can help reduce the risk of cavities because it blocks bacteria’s ability to stick to teeth effectively. Also, this activity can stimulate the salivary flow from the mouth’s salivary gland. The saliva has a neutral pH that can neutralize the acid produced by the mouth’s bacteria. When this happens, the tooth decay rate slowly decreases to a halt, and remineralisation of the tooth surface happens instead.