Why Chewing Gum is Bad for Your Health

Chewing gum is not a healthy habit! Gum products contain artificial ingredients and preservatives that contribute to poor dental health as well as numerous diseases. 

Artificial food additives are the culprit. 

Artificial sweeteners and sugar-free foods have been linked with tooth erosion. 

The two main artificial sweeteners 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, which releases methanol in the body. Methanol is dangerous because it breaks down into two toxic compounds, formic acid and formaldehyde. It's linked with digestive issues, migraines, depression, and even diabetes

Although aspartame, sucralose, and other no-calorie sweeteners are considered “diet” foods, they do not actually assist in weight loss. On the contrary, these substances may stimulate appetite and encourage increased consumption of sugar!

Moreover, aspartame promotes the growth of pathogenic microflora in your gut while inhibiting the growth of "good" microflora. These biochemical changes can have serious consequences on your digestive and immune health. 

In addition to artificial sweeteners, artificial food colorings and dyes are added to chewing gum to make the food product more appealing, or to make it the color the consumer expects it to be. 

Although the FDA classifies these chemicals as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), these artificial ingredients have been linked with behavioral disorders like autism, food allergies, and digestive complaints since the mid 1970s.

What do your teeth say about your health?

Your dental health is a major indicator of your overall health. Tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and infections are all warning signs that your body is out of balance. Moreover, gum disease is a risk factor for several chronic health conditions as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, lung disease, and pneumonia.

In fact, your daily nutrition habits also factor into your gum and tooth health. Not only are artificial sweeteners bad for your dental health, but so is regular sugar! Sugars destroy enamel, create an acidic environment in your mouth, and feed pathogenic bacteria. Even worse, they halt the biochemical processes in the body that maintain the health of the teeth and their roots, provide nourishment, and filter away foreign materials on a cellular level.

How can you optimize dental health?

On the flipside, eating whole foods, free of pesticides, preservatives, and processed ingredients sends health-promoting messages to the dental hormones to optimize function and health of the root and nourishing the bones through the tiny blood vessels beneath the teeth. 

The low-sugar diet and slightly alkaline environment allow for symbiotic and commensal bacteria live in the mouth, supporting oral health, while also preventing pathogenic microbial overgrowth and disease.  

So next time you reach for that stick of gum (sugar-free or not), think again! 

Instead reach for more organic, whole foods and sweeten your life with a dash of stevia, the natural, zero-calorie sugar from plants.

Brush your teeth, floss, avoid sugar, sugar-free foods and gums, and processed foods for a cavity-free mouth! 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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About the Author
Katherine Leonard is a San Diego-Based Holistic Nutritionist. She is pursuing a M.S. in Holistic Nutrition and plans to become Board Certified (expected late 2012). She is also a member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. Katherine believes that optimal health is achieved through organic whole foods, a toxin-free environment, and physical activity. Her passion is to design personalized programs to help others live nourishing lifestyles. 
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