Chewing gum


Chewing gum
Many types of North American chewing gum from 2009.

Chewing gum is a type of gum traditionally made of chicle, a natural latex product, or synthetic rubber known as polyisobutylene. For economical and quality reasons, many modern chewing gums use rubber instead of chicle. Chicle is nonetheless still the base of choice for some regional markets, such as Japan.

Contents

History

Chewing gum in various forms has existed since at least 5,000 years ago at minimum the Neolithic period. 5,000-year-old chewing gum with tooth imprints, made of birch bark tar, has been found in Kierikki, Yli-Ii, Finland. The bark tar of which the gums were made is believed to have antiseptic properties and other medicinal advantages.[1] The ancient Aztecs used chicle as a base for making a gum-like substance. Women in particular used this gum as a mouth freshener.

Forms of chewing gums were also used in Ancient Greece. The Greeks chewed mastic gum, made from the resin of the mastic tree.[2] Many other cultures have chewed gum-like substances made from plants, grasses, and resins.

The American Indians chewed resin made from the sap of spruce trees.[3] The New England settlers picked up this practice, and in 1848, John B. Curtis developed and sold the first commercial chewing gum called The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum. Around 1850 a gum made from paraffin wax was developed and soon exceeded the spruce gum in popularity. William Semple filed an early patent on chewing gum, patent number 98,304, on December 28, 1869.[4]

Modern chewing gum was first developed in the 1860s when chicle was exported from Mexico for use as a rubber substitute. Chicle did not succeed as a replacement for rubber, but as a gum it was soon adopted and due to newly established companies such as Adams New York Chewing Gum (1871), Black Jack (1884) and “Chiclets” (1899), it soon dominated the market.[5] Chicle gum, and gum made from similar latexes, had a smoother and softer texture and held flavor better. Most chewing gum companies have since switched to synthetic gum bases because of their low price and availability.

Effects on health

Dental health

Sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol has been shown to reduce cavities and plaque.[6] The sweetener sorbitol has the same goodness, but is only about one-third as effective as xylitol.[6] Xylitol is specific in its inhibition of Streptococcus mutans, bacteria that are significant contributors to tooth decay.[7] Xylitol inhibits Streptococcus mutans in the presence of other sugars, with the exception of fructose.[8] Daily doses of xylitol below 3.44 grams are ineffective and doses above 10.32 grams show no additional benefit.[9] Calcium lactate added to toothpaste has reduced calculus formation.[10] One study has shown that calcium lactate enhances enamel remineralization when added to xylitol-containing gum,[11] but another study showed no additional remineralization benefit from calcium lactate or other calcium compounds in chewing-gum.[12]

Other studies[13] indicated that the caries preventive effect of chewing sugar-free gum is related to the chewing process itself rather than being an effect of gum sweeteners or additives, such as polyols and carbamide.

Over 80% of cavities occur inside pits and fissures in chewing surfaces where food is trapped under chewing pressure and carbohydrate like sugar is changed to acid by resident plaque bacteria but brushing cannot reach.[citation needed]

Use in Surgery

Several randomized controlled studies have investigated the use of chewing gum in reducing the duration of post-operative ileus following abdominal and specifically gastrointestinal surgery. These suggest gum chewing, as a form of 'sham feeding', is a useful treatment therapy.[14]

Possible carcinogens

Concern has arisen about the possible carcinogenicity of the vinyl acetate (acetic acid ethenyl ester) used by some manufacturers in their gum bases. Currently the ingredient can be hidden in the catch-all term "gum base". The Canadian government at one point classified the ingredient as a "potentially high hazard substance."[15] However, on January 31, 2009, the Government of Canada's final assessment concluded that exposure to vinyl acetate is not considered to be harmful to human health.[16] This decision under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) was based on new information received during the public comment period, as well as more recent information from the risk assessment conducted by the European Union.

Swallowed gum

One old wives' tale says that swallowed gum will remain in a human's stomach for up to seven years, as it is not digestible. According to several medical opinions, there seems to be little truth behind the tale. In most cases, swallowed gum will pass through the system as fast as any other food.[17] There have been a few cases where swallowing gum has required medical attention, but these cases are more or less related to chronic gum swallowers. One young boy swallowed several pieces each day and had to be hospitalized,[18] and another young girl required medical attention when she swallowed her gum and four coins, which got stuck together in her esophagus.[17] A bezoar is formed in the stomach when food or other foreign objects stick to gum and build up, causing intestinal blockage.[19] As long as the mass of gum is small enough to pass out of the stomach, it will likely pass out of the body easily.[citation needed]

Bans on chewing gum

Many schools do not allow chewing gum because students often dispose of it inappropriately.[20]

Singapore also had a ban on chewing gum because it was not disposed of properly.[21]

Disney, Universal Studios, Seaworld, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, and Busch Gardens Theme Parks have banned the selling of gum to help keep the grounds cleaner.[citation needed]

Brands of Chewing gum

Effects on the Environment

Chewing gum is commonly stuck underneath benches and tables or to the surface of sidewalks, and is difficult to remove once dried. Chewing gum does not break down over time, making it also a potential hazard to the environment; thus gum is banned in Singapore[citation needed].

References

  1. ^ "Student dig unearths ancient gum" BBC.co.uk.
  2. ^ "History of the Chewing Gum" page of Gumballs.com.
  3. ^ "History Of Chewing Gum" page of BeemarsGum.org.
  4. ^ patent number 98,304
  5. ^ Chewing gum companies in 1860-1900
  6. ^ a b Deshpande A, Jadad AR (2008). "The impact of polyol-containing chewing gums on dental caries: a systematic review of an original randomized controlled trials and observational studies". JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION 139 (12): 1602–1614. PMID 19047666. 
  7. ^ Milgrom P, Ly KA, Roberts MC, Rothen M, Mueller G, Yamaguchi DK (2006). "Mutans streptococci dose response to xylitol chewing gum". JOURNAL OF DENTAL RESEARCH 85 (2): 177–181. doi:10.1177/154405910608500212. PMC 2225984. PMID 16434738. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=2225984. 
  8. ^ Kakuta H, Iwami Y, Mayanagi H, Takahashi N (2003). "Xylitol inhibition of acid production and growth of mutans Streptococci in the presence of various dietary sugars under strictly anaerobic conditions". CARIES RESEARCH 37 (6): 404–409. doi:10.1159/000073391. PMID 14571117. 
  9. ^ Kashket S, Yaskell T (1997). "Effectiveness of calcium lactate added to food in reducing intraoral demineralization of enamel". CARIES RESEARCH 31 (6): 429–433. PMID 9353582. 
  10. ^ Schaeken MJ, van der Hoeven JS (1993). "Control of calculus formation by a dentifrice containing calcium lactate". CARIES RESEARCH 27 (4): 277–279. PMID 8402801. 
  11. ^ Suda R, Suzuki T, Takiguchi R, Egawa K, Sano T, Hasegawa K (2006). "The effect of adding calcium lactate to xylitol chewing gum on remineralization of enamel lesions". CARIES RESEARCH 40 (1): 43–46. doi:10.1159/000088905. PMID 16352880. 
  12. ^ Schirrmeister JF, Seger RK, Altenburger MJ, Lussi A, Hellwig E (2007). "Effects of various forms of calcium added to chewing gum on initial enamel carious lesions in situ". CARIES RESEARCH 41 (2): 108–114. doi:10.1159/000098043. PMID 17284911. 
  13. ^ Caries preventive effect of sugar-substituted chewing gum- 3-year community intervention trial to determine the caries preventive effect of sugar-substituted chewing gum among Lithuanian school children, and to assess compliance with the instructions for gum use.
  14. ^ Fitzgerald JE, Ahmed I (December 2009). "Systematic review and meta-analysis of chewing-gum therapy in the reduction of postoperative paralytic ileus following gastrointestinal surgery". World J Surg 33 (12): 2557–66. doi:10.1007/s00268-009-0104-5. PMID 19763686. 
  15. ^ http://www.canada.com/topics/bodyandhealth/story.html?id=06e4fd58-ebb9-4bd3-b239-d0f87b743155
  16. ^ http://www.ec.gc.ca/ese-ees/59EC93F6-2C5D-42B4-BB09-EB198C44788D/batch2_108-05-4_pc_en.pdf
  17. ^ a b http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=fact-or-fiction-chewing-gum-takes-seven-years-to-digest
  18. ^ O'Connor, Anahad (August 28, 2007). "The Claim: Swallowed Gum Takes a Long Time to Digest". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/28/health/28real.html?_r=2&em&ex=1188792000&en=fe53a408bba7e455&ei=5087%0A&oref=slogin. Retrieved April 1, 2010. 
  19. ^ Babich, Jay P (2004). "Chewing Gum Bezoar". Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. p. 871. 
  20. ^ "B-schools ban chewing gum on campus". indiatimes.com. 26 June 2009. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/B-schools-ban-chewing-gum/articleshow/4703966.cms. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  21. ^ Cris Prystay "At long last, gum is legal in Singapore, but there are strings", The Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2004.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chewing gum — sous forme de dragées Le chewing gum ou gomme à mâcher est une gomme destinée à être mâchée. C est Thomas Adams, qui, mélangeant du chiclé (latex issu du sapotillier ou sapotier) avec de la résine et du sirop, fabriqua et commercialisa en 1872… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • chewing-gum — [ ʃwiŋgɔm ] n. m. • 1904; angl. chewing gum, de to chew « mâcher » et gum « gomme » ♦ Anglic. cour. Gomme à mâcher aromatisée. Tablette de chewing gum. Chewing gum à la menthe. Un paquet de chewing gums. ● chewing gum, chewing gums nom masculin… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Chewing-gum — sous forme de dragées Le chewing gum (ou gomme à mâcher, pâte à mâcher, chiclette (Suisse et Belgique (Liège surtout)) ou encore chique (en Belgique seulement)) est une gomme destinée à être mâchée. C est Thomas Adams, qui, mélangeant du chicle… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chewing Gum — Single par AAA extrait de l’album All Face A Chewing Gum Face B Bokura no Te (Live version) Sortie 15 novembre 2006 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chewing Gum (EP) — Chewing Gum EP EP by Polar Bear Released November 18, 1997 Reco …   Wikipedia

  • chewing-gum — /ˈtʃuinɡam, ingl. ˈtʃuːɪŋˌɡʌm/ [vc. amer., «gomma (gum) da masticare (chewing)»] s. m. inv. gomma americana, gomma, cingomma (fam.), cicca (dial.), bubble gum (ingl.) …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • chewing gum — / tʃu:iŋgʌm/, it. / tʃuingam/ locuz. ingl. [comp. di chewing, der. del v. (to ) chew masticare , e gum gomma ], usata in ital. come s.m. [sostanza aromatizzata da masticare, fabbricata con il lattice di una pianta dell America Centrale] ▶◀ (fam.) …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • chewing gum — ► NOUN ▪ flavoured gum for chewing …   English terms dictionary

  • chewing gum — ☆ chewing gum n. a gummy substance, such as chicle, flavored and sweetened for chewing …   English World dictionary

  • chewing gum — n [U] a type of sweet that you chew for a long time but do not swallow …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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