3 Terrible Side Effects Of Chewing Gum

gum side effects

As someone who enjoys snacking, I will say that I used to think chewing gum would be my saving grace. Coming in every flavor under the sun – from spearmint to watermelon – gum would be what I would reach for when I was feeling an intense need for sugar or carbs.

Unfortunately, that was an awfully bad habit to pick up.

My body was signaling towards a need for energy through caloric intake and I would trick it – albeit temporarily – by essentially swallowing air. Yes, a stick of gum has less calories instead of, say, an apple but the side effects of gum are a lot more severe than you might otherwise think. What are they?

1. Bloating

Unfortunately, chewing gum may save you some calories, but that uncomfortable feeling of a distended abdomen kind of does the opposite of slimming and trimming your waistline. By chewing gum you essentially swallow air which gets trapped and appears in your abdominal region.

In addition, gum does contain sugar, and even if it’s “faux sugar” – like sucralose, xylitol, aspartame, etc. – it will make you crave more of it. This means you actually will end up craving sugar even more than before and the possibility of snacking on junk then becomes more likely.

2. Jaw Problems

If you’re masticating often, this may lead to triggering TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) – a disorder that causes pain and even compromised movement of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. Why this is simply has to do with overuse of those areas.

3. Oral Health

Not only will your jaw be affected, but your teeth too! We know artificial sugar (typically in the form of sorbitol, aspartame and xylitol) is bad for your waist line, but real sugar is detrimental to both your waistline and teeth. Remember when the dentist would  always tell you that sugar would rot your teeth and give you cavities? He was right. A large intake of sugar (especially when localized on your teeth) could lead to tooth decay.

While these are only three of the most detrimental side effects of chewing gum, that really is not all. Did you know that if you have silver dental fillings, chewing gum may be responsible for releasing trace amounts of mercury from the fillings? Yikes! It’s best to chew gum in moderation – or not at all.

For more Head & Heart features, check out our articles here.

Did you know about the chewing gum side effects?

 

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