Gum can be addicting. For years, it has been a favourite with young kids and sassy teens. Many people don’t know that before it became a trendy candy, gum has been around in various forms for thousands of years. Original gums were made from the sap of trees, though now they are made from synthetic rubbers. They seem to be nutritionally empty, but are there benefits or risks linked to chewing gum?
Chewing gum is generally safe, but it could wreak havoc on your teeth, especially with prolonged use. Gum contains sugar. Even sugar-free gum contains sweeteners that can affect your teeth. Sugar causes cavities, which are holes on the surface of the tooth enamel. To avoid the negative effects of gum on the teeth, be sure to rinse and brush your mouth after eating.
Some gum contains controversial ingredients like Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), an antioxidant that’s added to many processed foods as a preservative, such as aspartame and Titanium Dioxide.
Aspartame is a sweetener made from various synthetic chemical pathways. It has been linked to several negative symptoms like cancers, gastric problems and migraines, among others.
Titanium dioxide is a food additive that whitens products and gives them a smooth texture.
Regardless, these chemicals are only used in traced, approved amounts. There have been no adverse effects directly linked to chewing or consuming gum; whether it be bubble gum or chewing gum of any kind.
The good stuff
Studies have in fact found that students who chew gum while studying have a better chance of retaining the information.
According to Health-line; chewing gum while performing tasks can improve various aspects of brain function, including alertness, memory, understanding and decision making.
There is also evidence that the act of chewing gum can be calming and stress-reducing.