Confessions of a Recovering Gum Addict

October 6, 2014

Hi I’m Brittany, and I used to be addicted to gum. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Okay, all jokes aside, yes I used to go a little overboard with the chewing gum. Now, I have actually heard of people being even more addicted than I was – think chewing about a pack a day. I was never that extreme, but I did have at least like 3-5 pieces a day sometimes which is actually quite a bit for me.

There is nothing wrong with sugar free gum, in fact I have three different packs right now (pumpkin, apple, and mint). I still chew gum, but it’s veryyyyy rare. I recently went like 6-7 weeks without chewing one piece. And now I just chew it once in a blue moon when I have serious garlic breath or something.

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The thing is, anything done excessively isn’t all that great. Everything in moderation, right? That’s how I live, but I was chewing these little sticks way more than moderation. Some people may not have any side effects from doing so, but since cutting it out, I realized I was getting some side effects that I’d rather not have.

Remember, this is MY experience. It doesn’t mean gum is the root of all evil and this will happen to everyone. Just sharing my thoughts!

Side Effects of Too Much Gum

  • My jaw was constantly sore. I naturally have a little TMJ, and chewing gum made it 10x worse. First of all, I’m always eating, so my jaw is moving during that, duh. But then I felt like I had to be chewing something all the time. So, my jaw was dead by the end of the day. I literally had to massage it.
  • Headaches. I never got a lot of headaches, but I think when your jaw is sore it can definitely cause some headaches. It could also be due to the artificial sweeteners. I consume artificial sweeteners right now, but I think too much in excess isn’t always great for some people.
  • Gut issues. Okay, I put that nicely. But you know, you’ve heard that when you chew gum you swallow air. Air in the gut usually = gas. Enough said. Hah.
  • Bloating. This is in relation to the gut issues, but sometimes it would make me bloated. One piece, I’d probably be fine. Five on the other hand, yeah, I’d get a little bloat.
  • Not drinking enough water. This one is a huge factor. Before I started drinking a gallon a day, I would usually chew gum because I was always so thirsty and I didn’t want to drink so much and keep having to go to the bathroom. I would use gum to cover that up, and I wouldn’t get enough water in the day. Since I started increasing my water and drinking at least a gallon a day, I actually haven’t felt the need to chew gum 24/7.
  • It adds up. Ok, this one may sound ridiculous, but think bout it. Gum isn’t calorie free. I mean, it pretty much is if you have one or two, but each piece does contain about 2g of carbs. I have a friend who has actually chewed an entire pack in one day. 15 sticks at 2g carbs per stick, an entire pack would mean she consumed 30 grams of carbs. I mean, I’d rather have a donut or something for that many carbs! I like food way more than an entire pack of gum 😉

Since cutting down my consumption, all of these effects have significantly been reduced, or gone away completely. If I want a piece of gum, I have it – just like with anything else. But, the side effects of having a million pieces a day aren’t worth it to me.

What are your thoughts?

Have you been addicting to gum?

And side effects you noticed?

15 Comments
    1. I’ve definitely been addicted to gum. Honestly, one of the biggest reasons that I stopped being so addicted was because of the gasiness but also because I started working at a restaurant and so couldn’t chew it that much. When I don’t chew gum, I usually just miss the clean feeling of my teeth, but otherwise? I don’t miss it! I’m good once I’m off of it, but when I start back….

      1. Me too!! So glad I’m not addicted anymore haha

    1. You know I’m super honest about my past, and this was a HUGE issue I had because i think a lot of fit girls have an oral fixation of just needing something to constantly chew on. I literally tried for 2 years to give it up and couldn’t and then I fixed my metabolism and i’m eating right….and BOOM!!! I don’t even think about it anymore!!! I love that we have that in common! Love ya!

    1. I was such a bad chain chewer! I was so addicted! I decided one day about 6 months ago to just totally cut it out and I did! It was so hard for the first few weeks ,but after that it was so easy! I just would think about how much I chewed and how much aspartame I was eating and that mad me cringe enough to stop and not want to chew any more!

    1. Those are a lot of side effects–I especially hadn’t thought before about gum having that many calories/carbs! I realize it’s a tiny number in the grand scheme of things, but still. I only chew gum on planes these days, to prevent my ears from popping too much.

      1. Definitely not a big deal in the gran scheme of things, but it can add up! Especially if you are trying to reach a goal. Yes, have to chew on planes!

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