Bad breath, lack of concentration, dieting and sheer habit are several reasons people chew gum. You may find yourself craving gum throughout the day. Gum addicts commonly chew one or more packs of gum in a 24-hour-period.
Constant gum chewing causes aching jaws, dental problems and bloating. Plus, there's risk of swallowing gum, and the cost of gum addiction alone adds up. Though not as expensive as alcohol or tobacco, buying several packs of gum a day can impact your expenses.
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Decrease overall sugar in your diet, suggests Dr. David Katz in the Sept. 2008 issue of "O, the Oprah magazine." You may be craving sugar when you reach for a piece of gum. Slowly decrease your overall sugar intake to reduce your sweet tooth cravings.
Chew your current piece of gum longer. When you begin to crave the next piece of gum, set a time limit you must reach before it is popped in your mouth. Slowly increase the time over several days or weeks.
Begin to decrease the total number of pieces you chew a day. Cut back your daily gum habit by one to two pieces of gum each day.
Replace gum with sunflower or fennel seeds. Both may keep your mouth busy and you will avoid the habit of constant chewing.
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Find alternative methods to keep your breath feeling fresh. Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist. A dry mouth contains dying bacteria that is associated with bad breath. Chew on parsley, which contains antibacterial properties that may decrease bad breath. Rinse and gargle with mouthwash frequently. Visit your dentist on a regular basis to check for any dental abnormalities that may develop from excess gum chewing including increased cavities. According to the International Chewing Gum Association, the average person chews 182 pieces of bubble gum per year.
Some artificial sweeteners in gum have a mild laxative on the body, states the International Chewing Gum Association. The laxative effect is not harmful to the body. Bad breath may be a sign of an underlying medical complication such as diabetes or kidney problems.