Wednesday, January 29, 2014

About Gum

Chewing gum is traditionally made from chicle, which is a natural gum found in a tropical evergreen tree that grows only in Central America. Many recent chewing gums have been made of synthetic rubber instead, because it is cheaper to produce and easy to manufacture. There are many companies distributing chewing gum, and there are many different types of gum, offering unique flavors and even benefits such as teeth whitening. However, some say that there is a risk involved when using some chewing gums. Add this to my Recipe Box.


For most of the time that chewing gum has been manufactured, it was solely done so as a confectioner and offered no health benefits whatsoever. The chewing gum of the modern age is different, because certain brands do offer things to make chewing gum worthwhile. This mainly has to do with the teeth, as many chewing gum manufacturers are selling chewing gum that whitens and strengthens teeth. Even dentists are signing off on certain gums, saying that chewing the gum once a day will help get teeth a few shades whiter. One example of this is Trident whitening gum.


There are many different brands of gum, all of them claiming to offer something new. Most brands, though, offer gum that comes in traditional flavors: peppermint, wintergreen, cinnamon and spearmint. Other brands offer new flavors, such as fruity ones like orange, or even sangria. Within these brands there are a few different types of chewing gum as well. There is regular chewing gum, low-calorie gum, teeth-whitening gum and bubblegum. Bubblegum is more viscous than other chewing gums and therefore it is easier to blow bubbles with it.

Risk Factors

There are a couple possible risks associated with chewing gum. The oldest risk was often thought of as an urban legend by some, but it is entirely true. Because of the makeup of gum, if it is swallowed it will not easily be dissolved by the digestive system. In fact, chewing gum can remain in the stomach lining for years before it is broken down for digestion, which can cause problems with the lining. Another health risk involves chewing gum that is manufactured with vinyl acetate, which is used in certain gum bases. It is known that this has somewhat of a hand in the promotion of cancer.


More people are using gum for oral hygiene instead of just candy. When it is difficult to brush your teeth, for example, many people turn to certain chewing gums. It is not as prevalent anywhere, though, as it is in the military. Ever since World War I, the U.S. military has been giving troops gum to help relieve stress. Now they are making gum that promotes oral hygiene and some that is even packed with caffeine to keep soldiers alert in the field. The Canadian and New Zealand military are two other forces that supply chewing gum to their troops for oral hygiene purposes.


The gum component chicle is essentially a form of rubber that softens and hardens when exposed to different temperatures. While some gums are still made this way, most are made out of a synthetic rubber with similar properties. This rubber is mixed with sugar and flavorings in order to sweeten the gum. Some chewing gums have a coating outside that is made of hardened sugar as well.

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