6 Scary side effects of chewing gum

By: Health Local Staff Mar 03, 2014
  Article
6 Scary side effects of chewing gum

Did you know there is a downside to chewing that seemingly harmless stick of gum?

Chewing gum has been proven to reduce stress, combat bad breath, and even burn a few extra calories. But did you know there is a downside to chewing that seemingly harmless stick of gum? Here are 6 disgusting side effects of chewing gum.

1. Chewing Gum Increases Snacking: Many health experts recommend chewing gum before and after meals as a way to eat less. But a recent study conducted by a leading health journal debunked this popular myth. In fact, the study showed that it leads people to eating less healthy food while increasing the intake or sugary and fatty foods.

2. Chewing Gum Can Lead to TMJ: Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also known as TMJ, is a jaw disorder that causes pain because of overuse of the jaw muscles. Overuse of any muscles can lead to problems, and the jaw and neck muscles are no different. Medical experts say cut down on chewing gum and choose other foods like apples that satisfy the need to chew.

3. Chewing Gum can Lead to IBS Symptoms: Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, and irregular bowel movements. Chewing gum can actually lead to IBS-like symptoms due to swallowing an excess of air leading to bloating. In addition, some sugar free gums contain sweeteners that can cause stomach irritation.

4. Chewing Gum Rots Teeth: So you switch to sugar sweetened gum to be more natural and avoid ingesting all of those artificial sweeteners. Sounds a good move right? Wrong. Sugar sweetened gum has its own issues, which starts and ends with a trip to the dentist. Chewing sugar-based gum basically means you are marinating your teeth in the number one substance that causes cavity and tooth decay.

5. Chewing Gum is Baaad: It’s a little known fact that lanolin, a substance also found in skin products keeps gum soft. What’s gross about it is that lanolin is secreted from a sheep’s gland and comes out looking yellowish and waxy. It’s completely safe, but knowing that you are repeatedly chewing on a secreted substance from a sheep’s gland is Just. Plain. Gross.

6. Heavy Metal: Many fillings are made of a combination of silver, mercury, and tin. Research shows that repeatedly chewing gum causes the mercury in the fillings to be released into your system. Too much mercury can lead to neurological issues, chronic illness, and even mental disorders. Although it is highly unlikely to occur, the idea of having mercury in your system is not a pleasant one.

So there you have it. While chewing gum is a seemingly innocuous activity there are a few issues that you will want to consider. Now that you know the six gross side effects are you still going to chew gum?

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.