7 Nasty Side Effects Of Chewing Gum
We know what you’re thinking: “Now you’re gonna take my gum away too?!?” Well, sort of. But we do offer a tip for a safer alternative below.
As for conventional sugarless gum, well, there can be some nasty side effects:
- You eat more junk food. The journal Eating Behaviors found that chewing mint-flavored gum reduced people’s consumption of healthy food and increased the likelihood of eating stuff like potato chips and candy.
- It can bring on TMJ. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is pain in the muscles and joints that connect your jaw to your skull, and, yep, chewing gum can cause it.
- Irritable bowel syndrome. Gum chewers end up swallowing lots of air, which can lead to some, uh, uncomfortable moments. Sweeteners sorbitol and mannitol also cause diarrhea.
- Rotten teeth. In an effort to avoid artificial sweeteners, some people are switching back to sugar gum. But sugar-sweetened gum bathes the teeth in sugar and is a source of decay.
- (A LOT of) Weight loss. Doctors in Germany attributed one patient’s dangerous loss of 36lbs in one year to sorbitol, a sweetener in gum. (source)
- You’re chewing a sheep by-product. Lanolin, a yellow waxy substance secreted by sheep is used to keep gum soft. Sure, there’s not a ton in your gum, but you’re still chewing this “wool fat.”
- Mercury into your system. Got any “silver” fillings? Research shows that chewing gum can release the mercury from them into your system.
Scary, right? But if you still need your fix, try one of these xylitol sweetened gums, which are a little better for your system.