What brings out the child in all more than chewing gum? Not only is it tasty, it can also freshen your breath and you can also use it to blow bubbles. However, could this iconic confection be doing you more harm than good?
When you put this chewy candy in your mouth, have you ever considered the story behind it? Bubblegum has only been around since late nineteenth century. However, people around the world have chewed gummy substances naturally for thousands of years.
The first thing people chewed for flavor and medicinal reasons was the tar from various plants and trees. Archaeologists have found evidence of Europeans chewing birch resin to freshen their breath and relieve toothaches. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans also chewed barks and resins for the same reason.
The Mayan culture is rich in discoveries that were ahead of its time. One of the many things that discovered centuries ago was chewing gum. This gummy substance comes from the native sapote tree. According to records, the Mayans had a wad of gum in their mouth to stave off hunger and thirst for a time.
Cousins of the Aztecs also used gum and even established a code of manners for chewing it. It was not long after the European invasions that chewing gum was introduced to the countries of Europe. The natives of North America chewed resin from fir trees and introduced it to European settlers.
Modern chewing gum
Taking from the Native American tradition of chewing fir resins, John curtis established the first official factory in Portland, Maine, in 1840. The product was not well received by the public as it tended to become brittle and did not taste good. Other gum inventors across the country tried to come up with a product that was tasty and stayed soft and chewy.
When inventor Tom adams from New York learned about Mexican gum, decided that it would be a better ingredient to chew on than fir resin. Their product had a pleasant taste and did not become brittle when people chewed it. By the late 1880s, his company was producing chewing gum for stores across the country.
The godfather of the industry was a salesman named William Wrigley, Jr. After being successful selling soap and baking powder, Wrigley entered the chewing gum business. He invented two classic flavors that are still popular today.
The advent of real chewing gum
However, these products were only intended for chewing and could not really produce bubbles. Dice, another gum company, wanted a product that people could chew on and make real bubbles. In 1928, Fleer produced the first authentic chewing gum and ever since then people around the world have been blowing and popping bubbles.
At first these chewing sticks were flavored with mint or cinnamon to freshen people’s breath and perhaps calm an upset stomach. When chewing gum was invented, it was mixed with a cocktail of artificial fruity flavors that created its imitable “bubble gum” flavor. Its iconic pink color was to make it more attractive to consumers, especially children.
Bubblegum in pop culture
Everyone has a favorite brand of gum. You probably grew up chewing on a particular brand and stuck with it into adulthood. Maybe you had contests with your friends to see who could pop a giant bubble.
Bubblegum has played a considerable role in American pop culture. It has been represented in music, art, books, and media. You probably remember the classic rhyme from children’s hands: “Bubblegum, bubblegum on a plate, how many pieces do you want?” Bubblegum was a favorite with the cool guys of the 1950s, as well as with bars and waitresses.
It became such a fad that many schools established rules against having gum in class. It was often taboo for adults to chew in public because people said it looked like a cow ruminating. The infamous gum under the seats and tables was the concern of many janitors and cleaning staff.
Is chewing gum bad for you?
The benefits and risks of chewing gum have been an ongoing debate. Most people chew gum all day and don’t think about it. Maybe you wouldn’t think of going to work or going out on a date without a bar of this chewy candy to freshen your breath.
Yes, chewing gum can help you avoid cravings when trying to diet. Many people have successfully quit smoking by using gum to suppress their cravings. Also, it is always helpful to have a stick of gum to freshen your breath after a spicy meal with onion or garlic.
If you consider sugar-free gum, it may have some benefits. If you’re dining out and can’t brush your teeth afterward, a stick of gum can help you clean your teeth. The chewing action and stickiness of gum can remove small food particles before they become harmful plaque.
Seven risks of chewing too much gum:
Chewing gum is without a doubt a healthier alternative to chewing tobacco or snuff. However, some health experts point out that chewing gum can pose some health problems. Here are seven things that can happen to your body if you chew too much gum.
Are you craving something sweet and have nothing on hand? Just pop a stick of gum in your mouth, and it can satisfy your sweet tooth. However, the extra sugar in your chewy treat is not good for your health. Dentists warn that chewing too much sugary gum can cause dental caries and disease.
Although most brands of gum have about 11 calories per bar, those calories can add up if you chew several pieces a day. Also, excess sugar in your mouth can make you crave more sugar. When you start to eat sugarier snacks, it can lead to obesity and other health problems.
2. Artificial sweeteners
Some gum companies had the great idea to use artificial sweeteners in their products to appease dentists and other healthcare professionals. They hoped the public would try their “sugar-free” products and not worry about sugar anymore. One company boldly announced that dentists were recommending their sugar-free product to patients who chewed gum.
You might feel good kicking in the extra sugar when you chew sugarless gum. But nevertheless, Artificial sweeteners they are a risk factor in themselves. Countless studies on the health dangers of artificial sweeteners cannot be ignored. Some experts say that sugar may be safer than artificial sweeteners.
3. Jaw disorders
If your teeth and jaw were ever exercised, chewing gum would be enough. As soon as you put the fruity or minty stick in your mouth, you can chew it for hours. Such a long workout may not be healthy for the jaw.
Many people addicted to gum often develop pain in the jaw, especially in the joints connected to the skull. These joints, called su temporomandibular joints, it can become inflamed and painful from injuries or repetitive motions. You can also develop muscle fatigue in the jaw and mouth.
Do you have unexplained headaches during the day? Your gum chewing habit may be to blame. You may be one of the many people who chew gum when stressed.
Constant and heavy chewing can not only affect the muscles of the jaw and mouth, but it can also cause strain on the head and neck. The result can be a tension headache that will only get worse when chewing. This is a point worth considering when talking to your GP.
5. Tooth decay
Many gum products remain full of sugar, and some products have a mixture of sugar and artificial sweeteners. However, chewing sugary gum can wear down tooth enamel and lead to cavities and cavities. Sugar also creates a haven for harmful bacteria that are responsible for dental problems.
6. Dental deformities
Want to ruin a smile your parents paid thousands of dollars for when they put braces on you? Chronic gum chewing can potentially cause tooth deformities, especially if you only chew on one side. It can cause your molars to misalign and affect your entire smile.
7. Chewing gum can interfere with healthy eating habits
Since sugar gum is a sweet treat, what are children more likely to choose, a healthy snack or a candy? Instead of getting the crunchy and satisfying nutrients from fruits and vegetables, you can use a gum stick. A diet lacking in fruits and vegetables can lead to malnutrition, obesity, or other eating disorders.
Enjoying a bubble gum bar is ingrained in our culture. However, it is important to remember to do so in moderation, especially with brands that contain sugar. If you’re craving something tasty to chew on, why not grab a carrot or celery stalk from time to time for extra vitamins.