What Happens to Your Body When You Chew Gum Every Day

From fewer cavities to more bloating, here's how a daily gum chewing habit can affect your health, plus the best type of gum to chew.

There are some habits you might not think twice about, like brushing your teeth, tossing your hair into a ponytail, or running to the bathroom before you leave the house.

Another habit that may be automatic? Chewing gum. But is chewing gum safe? And, what happens if you do it every day?

What Is Chewing Gum?

You've probably popped many pieces of gum into your mouth over the years, but have you stopped to consider what it's made of?

Chewing gum is made of a gum base, sweeteners, flavors and colors, per Science Direct. Bubble gum is made with a higher gum base, giving it more elasticity so you can blow bubbles the size of your face. The sweetener in gum can be an artificial sweetener (like sugar alcohol) or sugar.

Many people use chewing gum to freshen their breath after a meal. And you can find it in various flavors, from mint to cinnamon to fruity and dessert-y.

Are Chewing Gum's Ingredients Safe?

Gum can be made with various ingredients. In general, gum is considered a safe food product. However, it's best to first check the label on your favorite brand so you can know exactly what's in it. There are a few ingredients to keep an eye out for.


Some gum is made with sugar. Even though it seems like a small amount, know that added sugars from gum count. "If it's a sugar-sweetened gum, you don't necessarily want to be chewing it all day, as the amount of sugar could add up," says Melissa Mitri, RD, owner of Melissa Mitri Nutrition. Be sure the sugar in gum fits into your overall diet. The American Heart Association recommends that men eat no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) of added sugar daily, while women should limit themselves to 6 teaspoons (25 grams per day).

Artificial Sweeteners

If sugar-free, gum may contain sugar alcohols, including xylitol, erythritol and sorbitol, among other artificial sweeteners. While they're safe in moderation, there are some concerns. "These sugar substitutes may have a harmful impact on gut health and blood sugar levels. They are also overly sweet and may lead some people to crave sweets more," says Mitri.

Certain Additives

Mitri points to concerns about BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), a preservative used to prevent oxidation, and titanium dioxide, an inorganic chemical added as a whitening agent to chewing gum. The European Food Safety Authority recently declared that titanium dioxide is no longer a safe additive for food. However, it's still considered safe in the U.S., according to the Food and Drug Administration. "Research is currently inconclusive, but you may want to choose a gum that's free of these extra additives to be safe," says Mitri.

Benefits of Chewing Gum

Gum can be fun. It's sweet, it's tasty, and it may deliver a few perks, too.

May Help Regulate Your Appetite

Whether you're going for mint, cinnamon or fruity, gum provides a pleasant sweet taste. And sometimes, you want a sweet taste without reaching for a handful of candy. "[Gum chewing] can be especially helpful if you typically reach for sweets high in added sugars or you eat them out of boredom," says Mitri. Your mouth is occupied, and that can be a positive thing.

Anecdotally, it may help some people regulate their appetite, but it "should not be considered a 'magic pill' for weight loss," says Mitri. Though there's a lack of research, one earlier study published in 2012 in Obesity found that regularly chewing gum for two months did not lead to weight loss in people with excessive weight or obesity.

Could Improve Your Overall Dental Health

Gum can freshen your breath, but it won't fix poor dental health. However, sugar-free gum chewers develop fewer cavities than non-chewers (or those who use other things, such as lozenges or rinses), according to a 2019 meta-analysis published in the journal JDR Clinical & Translational Research. As the American Dental Association explains, chewing sugarless gum after a meal stimulates the flow of saliva, which helps strengthen enamel and wash out your mouth. The ADA also notes, though, that chewing sugary gum can contribute to tooth decay.

May Improve Your Anxiety Levels

While everyone may experience anxiety and stress differently, some things, like physical activity and sleep, can help you wind down. Chewing gum is another alternative. According to a 2022 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Healthcare Engineering, some studies have shown that chewing gum may be an "inexpensive, well-tolerated, safe and effective way to relieve anxiety and stress." However, more randomized trials are needed to confirm this.

Potential Side Effects

There are a few potential side effects that you should keep in mind if you're an avid gum chewer.

May Reinforce Disordered Eating Habits

"One thing to keep in mind is why you're deciding to chew gum and the intention behind it," says Mitri. For example, though gum chewing may help nip a sugary craving in the bud, she say, "If you're chewing gum instead of eating to curb your appetite, it could lead to disordered eating habits."

May Increase Your Risk of Digestive Issues

If you're consuming gum that contains sugar alcohols, be on the lookout for gastrointestinal issues. "Some people find that after consuming xylitol and other sugar alcohols, they experience gas, bloating and diarrhea," Mitri says. The FDA explains that the body does not completely absorb them, so they're allowed to ferment in the digestive tract, which causes symptoms.

Even if the ingredients agree with you, you also gulp and swallow more air as you chew. "Excess air can cause more unwanted belching and bloating," Mitri says. However, on the bright side, she also notes that chewing gum may release enzymes and bile into your digestive tract, which can enhance digestion for some.

May Increase Your Sweet Cravings

When you're accustomed to tasting sweet all day, you may want more of that sweet taste. This is individual, says Mitri, who adds that some people may crave more sweets when they frequently chew gum. "This is because the gum does not satisfy the craving," she says. A cookie (or whatever you're really craving) can fit into a healthy diet. Or, you can eat something sweet as a substitute, like berries, Mitri recommends.

How to Choose the Best Chewing Gum

Look for gum that's low in both sugar and alternative sweeteners, says Mitri. She personally likes the brand Simply Gum, which is made with cane sugar and contains 1 gram of sugar per piece, as well as no additional colors or other preservatives. They also have a sugar-free line made with xylitol as the sweetener. For oral health, the ADA advises chewing sugar-free gum.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it bad to chew gum daily?

As long as you're not experiencing any unpleasant side effects from chewing gum, such as bloating, it's OK to chew it once a day or every few days, says Mitri.

Which chewing gum is the healthiest one?

Ideally, chew gum that's made with either a small amount of sugar or one that's sugar-free. What's best for you depends on your particular circumstances. For instance, sugar-free gum may be your best option if your digestive system reacts well to sugar alcohols in gum, such as xylitol. If you experience GI distress with sugar-free gum, chewing a piece of low-sugar gum occasionally might be a better option.

How much chewing gum is too much?

You should stop at an amount that does not cause any side effects, such as bloating or diarrhea. If your gum chewing is causing problems, it is too much.

Who should avoid chewing gum?

If your doctor or dentist recommends avoiding gum because of your health background or you consistently experience side effects after chewing gum, you should avoid it. One example is people experiencing temporomandibular disorder (aka TMJ), which affects your jaw joints, muscles and ligaments.

The Bottom Line

How do you feel after you've chewed gum? Do you feel your teeth are cleaner and your breath is fresher? Or do you feel bloated and blah now (but with fresh breath)? Paying attention to your reaction to chewing gum can help determine if or how often you should be chewing gum for your health. "If chewing gum is a joyful habit that provides benefits in some way, there is no reason you need to cut it out of your life," says Mitri.

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