Chewing Gum: Harmful or Harmless for Your Overall Health and Teeth?

Chewing Gum: Harmful or Harmless for Your Overall Health and Teeth?

February 1, 2023

You will likely get different answers from everyone if you inquire whether chewing gum is beneficial for your dental health or detrimental. The reasons are that chewing gum is a mixed bag when matters related to your dental and overall health are concerned.

To ascertain the answer, you must explore different aspects of how chewing gum affects your mouth and body. This article looks at the effects of chewing gum to help you determine whether it is beneficial or harmful for your body and dental health.

The Detrimental Effects of Chewing Gum

  • Artificial sweeteners are prevalent in most brands of chewing gum that will affect your health adversely regardless of whether the gum contains sugar or is marketed as sugarless.
  • People chewing gum are less likely to eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables and favor harmful varieties like potato chips and candy. Unhealthy foods result in tooth decay.
  • Chewing gum can encourage the release of mercury from silver amalgam fillings if you have them in your tooth.
  • Chewing gum also leads to tooth decay and enamel erosion, especially with sweetened varieties. Therefore when you have sweetened chewing gum, you bathe your teeth and gums with sugar for an extended period.

Fifty-nine percent of the population in Canada regularly chew gum, while the numbers are higher in North African and Middle Eastern countries. Now that you know the statistics on chewing gum, let us examine its potential health effects in more detail.

The Health Effects of Artificial Sweeteners

People never pay attention to the ingredients of chewing gum, thinking they don’t swallow it after chewing it. Unfortunately, your teeth and gums are exposed to artificial sweeteners, and you swallow the flavorful ingredients while chewing gum because they are extracted during the chewing process.

The lining of your mouth is absorbent, making it easy for the ingredients to be absorbed directly. Many brands promote sugar-free gum sweetened with a substitute for sugar aspartame. Researchers think aspartame helps create formaldehyde, a known carcinogen in the body. Some reports claim they experienced dizziness, headaches and mood swings from aspartame consumption. However, no official warnings exist except for people without the necessary enzymes to break aspartame down.

Health Effects of Chewing Gum

  • TMJ Disorders:

    The temporomandibular joint is where your jawbone is connected to your skull, and you might develop TMJ disorders from the muscles controlling the joint. While chewing gum is not responsible for TMJ disorders, aggressive chewing or chewing from one side of the mouth can make you a victim of this condition needing treatment from a  dentist near you to alleviate the pain and discomfort you experience.

  • Enamel Erosion:

    Chewing gum regularly can result in enamel erosion because you wear your teeth faster and even bring changes in bite alignment. Your upper molars may spread, and the lower start shifting backward, resulting in an overbite. You might need expensive orthodontic treatment from the dentist in Harriston, ON, to overcome the challenges you confront.

  • Cavities:

    if you chew sweetened chewing without adhering to your dentist’s instructions of using sugar-free gum, you put yourself at an increased risk of hearing that you have cavities developing in them during a dental exam and cleaning in Harriston, ON. While the information might appear shocking, you must receive the treatment suggested by the Harriston dentist to prevent additional damage to your tooth from your mouth bacteria.

In addition to the above, many experienced headaches from chewing excessive gum. The headaches result from chewing gum when studying or taking necessary tests. In addition, the stress of studying exacerbates and leads to chewing harder and faster, resulting in tension headaches.


If chewing sugar-free gum, the practice might help prevent cavities by removing dental plaque and harmful bacteria from your teeth and gum surfaces. However, it helps to remember that chewing gum is not a healthy habit accompanied by detrimental effects and risks.

If you want to freshen your breath, you find no better treatment than brushing and flossing or using mouthwash instead of chewing gum as a cleanser. Therefore if you are accustomed to chewing gum and notice symptoms of the above conditions, you must seek help from the Harriston dentist to determine whether you must quit the habit or change the brands you use.

If you want advice on whether chewing gum is healthy for your body or detrimental, Harriston Family Dentistry can help you by providing precise information on this topic. If you experience some symptoms discussed in this article, kindly consult the practice to determine whether chewing gum is beneficial or harmful to your teeth.