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Why Chewing Gum Isn't Great for Your Health
Posted by Dr. Ben Kim on Sep 29, 2010
If you chew gum on a regular basis, please consider the following:
Chewing gum causes unnecessary wear and tear of the cartilage that acts as a shock absorber in your jaw joints. Once damaged, this area can produce pain and discomfort for a lifetime.
You use eight different facial muscles to chew. Unnecessary chewing can create chronic tightness in two of these muscles, located close to your temples. This can put pressure on the nerves that supply this area of your head, which can lead to chronic, intermittent headaches.
You have six salivary glands located throughout your mouth that are stimulated to produce and release saliva whenever you chew. Producing a steady stream of saliva for chewing gum is a waste of energy and resources that could otherwise be used for essential metabolic activities.
Granted, this isn't a significant cause of disease and dysfunction for most, but a physiological fact that deserves acknowledgment, in my opinion.
Most chewing gum is sweetened with aspartame. Long term use of aspartame has been linked with cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders, and birth defects.
If your gum isn't sweetened with aspartame, it is probably sweetened with sugar. Regular intake of refined sugar is most likely the single greatest dietary cause of chronic health challenges like cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetes mellitus type 2.
Chewing gum once in a while shouldn't be problematic for most people who don't have existing health challenges in the jaw and neck regions. But our bodies definitely pay a price for chronic gum chewing. Just something to be aware of.
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