We often recommend chewing gum as a means of cleansing your mouth and freshening your breath. While this practice is acceptable on occasion, chewing gum too often could have surprising effects on your overall health. Before you chomp down on that third or fourth stick of gum, consider the possible consequences.
Chewing Gum to Lose Weight?
You may have heard people recommend chewing gum before you eat as a means of “tricking” yourself into eating less. A study published in Eating Behaviors, an academic journal, reveals that chewing gum has no impact on the number of calories consumed during your meal. Worse still, gum with mint flavoring increased participants’ likelihood of consuming unhealthy foods and decreased their intake of fruits. It’s possible that the combination of mint flavoring and fruits or vegetables results in a bitter taste that makes them unpalatable.
Popping Bubbles, Popping Jaw
Constant gum-chewing may actually trigger a TMJ disorder, resulting in pain and stiffness in your jaw joints where the jaw attaches to your skull. Like any other joint or muscle, those in your jaw can become overworked. You may find yourself experiencing chronic earaches or headaches, or you could experience locking and popping in your jaw.
Gum and Your GI System
If you have irritable bowel syndrome, chewing gum can make your symptoms worse. When you chew, you also swallow air. This results in bloating and pain in your abdomen. Mannitol and sorbitol, both alternative sweeteners commonly found in gum, have been known to cause diarrhea—even in people who do not have IBS or other gastrointestinal disorders.
About Your Shrewsbury Dentists
At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.