Chewing gum has been popular as an oral hygiene tool in many lands since very early times. The first commercial chewing gum, made of the gum-like resin that formed on spruce trees when they were cut, was sold in the United States in the early 1800's. It was. Modern chewing gum had its beginnings in mid-1800 when it was discovered that the most flavorful and longest lasting gum came from trees in the tropical rain forests of Central America. The act of chewing gum helps keep teeth clean as it stimulates saliva, which then helps neutralize traces of acid in your mouth from fermented foods that cause tooth decay. Chewing gum also moistens your mouth, freshens your breath, and can temporarily satisfy hunger if you're unable to eat or are trying to avoid snacking between meals. There are negative effects of chewing gum. Excessive gum chewing can lead to a clicking or popping noise in your jaw, tired jaw muscles, or may aggravate joint or jaw disorders. Although gum chewing may be quite satisfying, your favorite gum may contain sugar or an artificial sweetener. Too much of either substance can lead to tooth decay if you don't brush your teeth at least twice a day or as directed by your dentist. Therefore, if you chew gum daily or believe that you do so excessively, you should discuss the habit with your dentist as a preventive measure.
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