A Sticky Situation

Is chewing gum bad for you?

Haley Wong, Section Editor

We all have those habits that we just can’t shake. Whether its nail-biting, sleeping late or procrastination, everyone has something. For some people, their quirk is chewing gum. Most people chew gum because it relaxes them, relieves stress or gives them something to do, but like all things, there are some drawbacks.
Chewing gum can cause jaw issues if chewing occurs on one side more than the other. This disorder is called Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) which can result in headaches, earaches, and toothaches.
Even chewing sugar-free gum can have negative impacts, since there are still artificial sweeteners. Too much sugar can lead to some serious oral problems such as cavities and tooth decay.
The United States is the third highest country with gum-chewers where half the population chews about two sticks of gum daily, but luckily for us, the pros of chewing gum outweigh the cons.
So why do so many people chew gum? Studies show that gum can help reduce stress and, anxiety and can also serve as a distraction. “It makes me fidget less” said Grace Crandell, sophomore who chews gum at least four sticks daily.
Studies also have shown that chewing gum can help students focus during academic tasks as chewing increases the blood flow to the brain. It also helps improve memory and can also increase alertness and decisiveness.
Gum can even help those who are trying to lose weight because the motion of chewing can trick the mind into thinking that the person is eating. “Instead of snacking, I’ll chew gum” said Crandell.
Another student Mitchell Hubbell, sophomore chews gum at home, school and any other place he goes. He chews gum because it’s something he’s comfortable with and because of the flavor. “Mint is the best” said Hubbell.
However, chewing too much gum too often can result in a change of taste, making some more likely to avoid fruits and healthier options due to the uncomfortable taste. But like most things, chewing gum should be done in moderation.