Is chewing gum bad for you? 7 reasons to make you think twice

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Ever wondered if chewing gum is bad for you?

For thousands of years, human beings have been stuffing sticky strands of something or other into their mouths. And it's been a welcome alternative to having nothing to do with your jaw.

But no one has ever really considered whether or not this is a good idea. Here's everything you need to know...

chewing gum (Credit: Pexels) There are plenty of drawbacks to chewing gum (Credit: Pexels)

Is chewing gum bad for you?

As it turns out, there are plenty of drawbacks to chewing gum dependency.

Some can affect your health, others might ruin your life.

All will make you think twice before opening that next packet of Wrigley’s.

Here are seven reasons why it's bad to chew gum every day.

READ MORE: What happens when you swallow gum?

1. Artificial Sweeteners

The war on sugar has forced all confectionery manufacturers to get creative when it comes to flavouring their product.

As a result, there are all sorts of nasty surprises waiting in almost every packet.

Sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame are known to be toxic to the liver and have potentially carcinogenic effects.

chewing gum (Credit: Pexels) Chewing gum contains artificial sweeteners (Credit: Pexels)

2. Sugar

Not that the alternative is any better.

Putting your teeth in regular contact with high quantities of sugar is a recipe for tooth decay, gum disease and all sorts of dangerous side effects.

Gum disease in particular can be a precursor to bad breath, strokes, cancer and heart disease, if left untreated.

READ MORE: Does salad make you sleepy? Lettuce has surprising side-effects

3. Jail time

In some countries, the potential health risks of a stick of gum are the least of your worries.

In Singapore, gum is considered contraband, carrying a fine of several thousand pounds and a potentially hefty jail sentence.

Though there is an exception for gum prescriptions from dentists and doctors, gum is all but absent from Singapore’s streets.

Chewing gum (Credit: Pexels) Chewing gum can get you put in jail in some countries (Credit: Pexels)

4. Choking

There are plenty of old adages about the dangers of swallowing your gum, but the truth is actually much more shocking than you might expect.

Nearly 5,000 people choke to death every year in the US alone, according to Statista – a good proportion of which comes from accidentally swallowing gum.

READ MORE: Drugs in food – what the food industry doesn't tell you about your dinner

5. Gut 'destruction'

It might sound like a particularly dodgy 90s metal band, but gut destruction is no laughing matter.

According to the Dr Axe website (which, coincidentally, also sounds like an equally dodgy metal band), nanoparticles of titanium dioxide are capable of wreaking havoc with your stomach lining.

This can damage small intestinal cells.

Chewing gum (Credit: Pexels) Chewing gum can lead to damaging gut destruction (Credit: Pexels)

6. Fruit hating

Another, slightly more subtle impact of chewing more minty gum maybe the accidental effect it has on your diet.

In 2015, Time magazine reported on a study from the University of Buffalo.

Scientists found that chewing gum regularly may make you less inclined to eat healthy foods such as fruit, without diminishing your appetite for junk.

READ MORE: 7 common foods that are surprisingly dangerous 

7. Death

Obviously, death is the worst possible outcome from eating anything, but there is mounting evidence that it could be a real possibility with chewing gum.

Aside from choking, a case from 2011 shows that accidentally swallowing gum can also be disastrous.

Samantha Jenkins tragically lost her life after gum in her stomach stopped her from absorbing essential minerals and nutrients – causing her to collapse into a fit and eventually die.

chewing gum (Credit: Pexels) Chewing gum can, in rare cases, lead to death (Credit: Pexels)

Is it bad to chew gum every day?

It’s easy to think that something like chewing gum is essentially innocuous.

READ MORE: Is coffee bad for you?

After all, what damage can a few chews actually do?

But as a few of these tales prove, there can be more to a packet than meets the eye.