Chewing Gum Can Give You Wrinkles

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 24, 2011

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Chewing gum is known to freshen one’s breath and in some cases help in quitting smoking. However, the eminent dermatologist, Dr. Joel Schlesinger of Omaha Nebraska, asserts that gum chewers have a pattern of premature, wrinkles around the mouth, which is directly related to this habit. This happens much earlier than expected in younger people who have the habit, making them look older.

While no actual studies have been done on the effects of gum chewing to wrinkles around the mouth, Dr.Schlesinger has observed it among many of his patients. He says that this is due to the following causes:

  • The repetitive motion of chewing results in muscle overuse which leads to  the formation  of lines and folds around the mouth.
  • Support tissues that keep the mouth in shape break down due to overuse resulting in volume loss as well a reduction in the elasticity of facial skin.
  • Dermal fillers (like Botox) that people have injected in their faces to prevent wrinkles get dislodged earlier by pushing them out of the area of injection.

A contrary view has been given by the Japanese lady Chizu Saeki, the author of ‘The Japanese Skincare Revolution’, who suggested that we should make a conscious effort to chew on that side of the mouth that is sagging or drooping. Some online articles in Japan quoting her views, say that chewing gum for five to twenty minutes daily helps to reduce facial wrinkles. This is because, chewing exercises the facial muscles which improves blood circulation and results in smoother skin, unblemished by wrinkles.

Chizu Saeki suggests that one should chew equally on both sides and though she does not feel that chewing gum is the ideal form of facial exercise; it should be done in moderation to obtain the best benefits.

Wrigley, the world renowned makers of chewing gum have come out in defence of their gum, saying that research of over three years have proved the benefits of chewing gum in the areas of:

  • weight management.
  • stress relief.
  • increased alertness, focus and concentration.

Keeping weight management in view, Wrigley has come out with a sugar free product which should be beneficial to customers.

One more proponent to the good effects of chewing gum is Dr. Jane Soxman, a board certified paediatric dentist from Allison Park, PA who says there are many dental benefits to chewing gum.According to her, it stimulates salivary flow, assisting with the removal of food residues from the teeth. It neutralizes the acid in the mouth. For people who have an early cavity, it helps to re-mineralize the area and reduce the advancement of tooth decay.

Doctors now agree that before you quit the habit, you must remember that chewing gum decreases stress, increases alertness, decreases the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine dependence. Some even suggest that it even prevents the formation of a double chin!

Ultimately, there seem to be diverse opinions on this topic with the American school quite in opposition to the Japanese. Doctors disagree with each other but a disagreeable aspect of chewing gum is that the chewed gum ends up on office chairs and carpets, which are difficult to remove!.


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