Disturbing Side Effects of Chewing Gums
Chewing gum dates back to centuries ago. It was a favorite pastime for many people across the globe, thanks to its wide range of benefits. Ancient Greeks, for example, chewed tree resin to clean their teeth and maintain fresh breath.
In the US, people chew gum as a tool for relieving stress or minimizing food cravings. Research shows that gum containing Xylitol can help prevent middle ear infections in kids, too. Likewise, chewing nicotine gum could help you quit smoking.
Despite its many benefits, chewing gum is not without its disadvantages. Here’s a look at some common debilitating effects of chewing gum:
Frequent chewing of sugared gums leads to dental health problems like tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. The sugar from chewing gum coats your teeth and gradually damages the tooth enamel, especially if you don’t clean your teeth immediately afterward.
Use gum brands that contain little or no sugar to minimize these effects.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
Chewing gum can result in jaw muscle imbalance or TMJ in your jaw, especially if you chew on one side of the mouth more than the other.
Whenever you overuse a set of muscles, it results in contracted ligaments and debilitating pain. It can also lead to earaches, toothaches, and headaches.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder that causes cramping, abdominal pain, and unusual bowel patterns. While chewing gum, you swallow excess air. It can contribute to IBS, which in turn leads to bloating and abdominal pain.
The artificial sweeteners in gum, such as Mannitol and Sorbitol, have also been found to cause diarrhea.
Mercury Release From Dental Fillings
If you have amalgam fillings that contain mercury as one of their ingredients, chewing gum could cause the release of the mercury into your body. High levels of mercury in the body system may lead to mental disorders, neurological problems, and other health issues.
These are some legitimate reasons you should avoid chewing gum. If you can’t avoid it, however, it’s advisable only to chew sugarless gum made with Xylitol, and be conscious about which side you’re using to chew.