There are a number of health hazards that consumers should be aware of for using a chewing gum. The Chewing gum is made of a secretion from the sheeps wool it is reported. That is the base for the gum that we chew.
Consumption of chewing gum sweetened with sugar essentially coats your teeth with sugar, which leads to tooth decay. Besides tooth decay, dental erosion can also occur. Dental erosion occurs by cumulative decalcification, which slowly erodes the teeth.
This can occur even in the presence of artificial sweeteners, since they contain acidic flavourings and preservatives that can erode the teeth, in spite of the presence of xylitol that fights cavities. The temporo-mandibular joint is the joint that connects the jaw bone (mandible) with the temporal bone of the skull.
Excessive chewing can cause differential contraction of the muscles, particularly if you chew more with one side of the mouth as opposed to the other. This can trigger TMD, which causes chronic pain, tightening and inflammation of the jaw muscles, ear aches, tooth aches, as well as migraine-type headaches.
Chewing gum increases the air intake into the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract, which can cause abdominal cramps and bloating. It can also aggravate the condition in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Peppermint flavoured chewing gum can cause gastric acid reflux. Also, popping a chewing gum into the mouth immediately causes the brain to send signals to the digestive system to be prepared to expect food intake. As a result, saliva and other gastric juices, including gastric acid starts to be secreted.
Since, there is no intake of food, this actually may compromise your ability to digest food due to lack of digestive juices, when you actually consume food. This can cause indigestion. Some chewing gum sweetened with artificial sweeteners can cause diarrhea.
Amalgamated dental fillings typically contain silver, mercury and tin. Chewing releases mercury vapours from the fillings, which can be rapidly absorbed into the blood. Although the amount of mercury is minute, you wouldn’t want to contaminate your system with mercury, however small.
Although primarily the deleterious effects of chewing gums have been highlighted, it may be added that chewing a piece of gum after a meal could be a healthy habit — the saliva released helps to clean the teeth and the flavour can add freshness to the breath!