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Is Chewing Gum Bad For Your Health?

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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Chewing gum is often thought of as a great craving buster, breath freshener and harmless substance.

But, really, is chewing gum bad for your health?

Yes, chewing gum is bad for your health.

Oh darn, I gave away the whole article… But wait… Stick around… Let’s explore the reasons why.

Most chewing gum is…

  • full of artificial colors and additives many of which are carcinogenic.
  • sweetened with aspartame. Aspartame has been linked with cancer, birth defects, diabetes and neurological disorders.
  • sweetened with some other artificial sweetener which may cause liver toxicity, birth defects. Additionally, it is just as addictive as sugar.
  • sweetened with sugar (when not sugar free). Sugar is highly addictive, stimulates the appetite,  and encourages cravings. It can also cause diabetes, obesity, and heart attacks.

There are other reasons why chewing gum is not good for your health.

  • It can cause headaches. This is not only from the chemicals in the gum but also from the actual chewing. You use eight (8) different muscles to chew a piece of gum. Unnecessary chewing strains two of these muscles and can cause headaches.
  • It can cause gum damage. The cartilage in your mouth gets broken down from unnecessary chewing which can eventually lead to a lifetime of pain.
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners can cause tooth decay, enamel breakdown and feed bacteria.
  • Chewing gum activates your digestion system. When your digestive system is activated enzymes and acids are produced however they do not actually have anything to digest. This can cause bloating, overproduction of stomach acid and stomach pain.

I share a few more facts to wrap this all up, and encourage you not to open the wrapper. Chewing gum can cause stomach upset, headaches, gum damage, and tooth decay. Additionally it can cause cancer, birth defects, diabetes, liver toxicity, and neurological disorders.

So why exactly do you want it?

Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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19 thoughts on “Is Chewing Gum Bad For Your Health?”

  1. Even as a little kid I thought chewing gum was just gross. Other than a brief romance with bubble gum when I was very little and thought I had to be able to do everything my brothers could do, I have not chewed gum. I frankly don’t like to be around people who are chewing gum.

    The one reason you don’t mention is that gum chewers toss their gum on sidewalks, streets, and on or under furniture. It is as bad as smoker’s who toss their butts everywhere. Who do they think is going to clean that up? Gross.

  2. Chery Schmidt

    Wow Elise, I had NO IDEA chewing gum was bad for me. Yikes I chew a lot of gum too… Perhaps I need to change my habits HUH? Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))

  3. Chery Schmidt

    Hello Elise, Wow I had NO IDEA chewing gum was bad for me. Yikes I chew a lot of gum too… Perhaps I need to change my habits HUH? Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))

  4. I chew lots of gum when out because I don’t want to project bad breath. Recently my dentist advised if I came in for more frequent cleanings, I wouldn’t have to worry. My chiropractor once told me to stop chewing gum if I was trying to lose weight. I dismissed all of this advice but now, reading your list of reasons why gum is not good for me, I will take heed. Thanks.

    1. Third time is the charm, Roslyn. 🙂 I would imagine that your dentist is referring to concern over bacteria which can definitely cause bad breath as can digestion issues, pungent food and certain bad habits. I think I feel a post coming on about why people have bad breath and how to prevent it….

  5. This is the first time I’ve heard this. I chew way less gum now than I ever have. While it may have bad health effects, I think is is less harmful than many other things in our lives.

    1. Certainly if we start listing things based on degree of harmfulness we will be on a very slippery slope where almost everything can be justified. What made you decide to chew less gum?

  6. If this is true, I am in trouble. I use sugar free gum at work to help with stress eating.. And yes, I’ve tried the other ways – crunchy veggies, walking around (which I have to do, anyway). Nothing seems to work like the gum. I’ve always thought the xylitol was actually good for you. I don’t chew every day but it helps me a lot with stress. Now I have to think about this and do further research.

    1. It is important to note that most chewing gum with xylitol still has artificial colors, artificial flavors and other unsavory ingredients. In addition,Peter Milgrom, a dentist at the University of Washington, states that to gain the benefit of xylitol you must “make sure that xylitol is the first ingredient and chew at least two pieces, three times a day to have an effect.”

      Have you tried breathing exercises to help with stress? This method works wonders.

  7. I was addicted to Cinnamon Fire gum for a few years! I thought it was okay because it was sugar free. But eventually I realized why should anyone have to have gum? And gum isn’t cheap. I was probably spending $10-15 a week on gum! Crazy.

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.