10 bubble bursting reasons why chewing gum is bad for you

Real Food Recipes

I know, I know… sometimes you just really hate me.

Because I’m the one who’s always gotta burst your bubble. I’m the one who told you BPA-free is a load of B(P)S, your favorite chocolate is likely loaded with nasties, your new clothes are covered in chemicals, your tea bags are dangerous, and, now, chewing gum is bad for you.

Just like that friend who tells you that your hot new boyfriend is slimy and likely cheating on you, you just really can’t stand me. She can find something wrong with everyone I date/everything I touch.

But we’re just looking our for your best interests!

And soon you’ll probably find out that your good-for-nothing BF is actually cheating on you and go running back to your real-talking friend to assure you that you deserve better. And that nasties are all around you and totally messing with your health and come back to me for some more bad news. Er, I mean information and practical solutions.

10 bubble-bursting reasons why chewing gum is bad for you:

1. It can increase your exposure to mercury.

Silver/amalgam dental fillings are made of a combination of mercury, silver, and tin. Research shows that chewing gum can release the mercury from the fillings into your system. Mercury is toxic and can cause neurological issues as well as chronic illnesses and mental disorders.

2. Most chewing gum contains artificial sweeteners

The two main artificial sweeteners used in gums are sucralose and aspartame. Sucralose is carcinogenic, toxic to the liver, known to cause birth defects, and damaging to the immune system. Aspartame is a potent neurotoxin and releases methanol in the body, which then breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde. Aspartame has been linked to digestive issues, migraines, diabetes, and even depression. Plus, artificial sweeteners have been shown to stimulate the appetite, encouraging increased consumption of sugar, and promote the growth of bad bacteria in the gut while inhibiting the growth of “good” bacteria.

3. But REAL SUGAR is horrible for your teeth

Switching to gum with real sugar as opposed to artificial sweeteners may how seem like a good idea, but this just bathes the teeth in sugar, which as we know is a major cause of tooth decay.

4. Most contain GMOs

Many gums contain corn syrup and/or soy lecithin, which are most often derived from GMO corn and coy respectively.

5. Most contain ingredients that have been BANNED in other countries

Most gums on the shelves contain BHT and artificial coloring agents, which are chemical ingredients that have been BANNED in other countries but are allowed for use in the US food industry. Both have been linked to cancer.

6. The mysterious “gum base” is bad news

HealthWyze was determined to find out just what exactly was in “gum base” and learned the following:

It is made of several food grade raw materials, which are rubber (food grade), glycerol ester of rosin, paraffin waxes, polyvinyl acetates, talc powder and calcium carbonate.

Glycerol ester of rosin is often made from the stumps of pine trees and used industrially to create fast-drying varnishes. It is now being added to soft drinks, with a federal limit of 100 P.P.M. However, chewing gum has not such limit applied. Talc has been linked to lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and fibrotic pneumoconiosis with just transdermal exposure. It is very rarely put into products that are to be consumed, which makes its presence in chewing gum alarming. Polyvinyl acetate is not the plastic PVA. PVA is frequently referred to as “Carpenter’s glue” or simply “white glue” — do you really want to be chewing a bottle of glue?

7. It can trigger TMJ

Chewing gum can lead to symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which is characterized by pain in the joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. TMJ can lead to headaches, earaches, and/or toothaches over time.

8. It can upset your stomach and contribute to IBS

Chewing gum allows for excess air to be swallowed, which contributes to abdominal pain and bloating. This can aggravate and contribute to IBS for those with this GI disorder.

9. It can cause you to eat more

Chewing gum jump-starts the digestive process which can increase hunger. Just like seeing, smelling or tasting food, chewing gum tricks our body to anticipate food, stimulating the secretion of salivary and gastric juices and increasing hunger.

10. It can cause headaches

Unnecessary chewing creates chronic tightness in the muscles located close to your temples, which puts pressure on the nerves in this area and can lead to chronic, intermittent headaches.


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  1. Jordan Rubin also shares that (I think, going from memory) we only have so much saliva for a lifetime – so extra chewing is going to mess with our long-term digestion when we “run out” so to speak!!
    🙂 Katie

  2. LOL that is certainly NOT what I am advocating for, and I do hope you realize that.

    And with a name like “Local Nourishment,” I’m sure you see why I suggest avoiding some of the ingredients in chewing gum.

  3. From what I understand, the study that says gum releases mercury only said that chewing releases mercury. Therefore, more chewing = more mercury, and that was the danger with gum. However, the opposite being true, those of us with amalgam fillings could (to reduce mercury exposure) just have all our meals delivered via stomach tube. And hide in our clean rooms breathing only purified air.

    Or, we could just live and be thankful for it.

  4. I agree with all the above, haven’t chewed gum in at least 2-3 years. I’d like to add a reason not to chew my granny once told me: Only cows are always chewing on something…