The Sticky Truth About Gum


“Gum Bucket”

Madison Barrass, Newscrew Staff Writer

Have you ever been in class, sitting at your desk and all of a sudden, your hand grazes a sticky blob of gum? Did you know there is an ingredient in some gums that contain a chemical found in medicine? The U.S. may be one of the leading gum chewers in the world, but do you know the sticky truth about what you’re chewing?

What can it do to your body?
First, gum chewing can lead to several side effects. For example, it can cause Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) in your jaw. TMJ is a muscle imbalance due to chewing gum on one side of your mouth, and can lead to an excruciatingly painful chronic disorder. Gum chewing also messes with your hormones. Basically, when you chew gum, your body releases high amounts of insulin, which can lead to blood sugar spikes, causing a negative chain reaction on your body such as mood swings, “Increased thirst…Headaches…Trouble concentrating…Blurred vision…Fatigue…” according to Is that all? No! Gum chewing can cause air to reach your stomach, causing stomach aches. The artificial ingredients that the gum contains cause also cause stomach problems. Not to mention the fact that chewing gum can cause headaches. Dr. Ben Kim says, “Unnecessary chewing can create chronic tightness in two of these muscles, located near your temples. This can put pressure on the nerves that supply this area of your head, which can lead to chronic, intermittent headaches.” These side effects can do damaging things to your body all because you chewed that piece of gum.

What is actually in what I’m chewing?
It might be quite scary finding out what you probably have in your mouth right now might actually also be an ingredient found in your medicine cabinet. Butylated hydroxtoluene also known as BHT, is found in Children’s Advil. According to the list of ingredients found on the packaging, “…butylated hydroxoluene…” is listed on the ingredients. According to “Best Food Facts” and Dr.Westerhoff says, “Titanium dioxide is most commonly found in candies, sweets, and chewing gums.’” Titanium dioxide is also found in oil painting and alkyd resin. “Although Nano-sized titanium dioxide may be in small concentration, their presence alone may pose a significant carcinogenic hazard to human health.” States The Health Supplement Ingredient That Could Be Causing Cancer by Dr. David Jockers. Even though Titanium dioxide may be recognized not harmful by the U.S. Food and Drug, how healthy can it be to have that in your gum?

What do the teachers at Somerset think?
Not only is chewing gum harmful to your body, it is also found in disgusting places such as underneath desks, tables, and chairs. “I think most teachers probably wouldn’t have issues with chewing gum if students didn’t leave it on the floor, under desks…” says Mrs. Berkowitz, the 6th grade History teacher. Mrs. Horsley, the journalism teacher, has a gum bucket for student’s chewing gum. Gum is not allowed on property, as we are a gum-free school.

Gum is very messy and disgusting for the person that is in that spot next if you leave it somewhere inappropriate. Chewing gum is harmful to your body, and can cause major side effects; even chronic ones. It also has ingredients in them that are found in medicines and other products that you shouldn’t put it in your body. So in all, students, just reject the stick and don’t chew gum on or off campus. Your body will definitely thank you later.