What is chewing gum made of?
Chewing gum consists of five main ingredients: chewing gum base, sugar, corn syrup, flavourings, and additives which make the chewing mass soft and elastic. Sugar-free chewing gum contains intense sweeteners and bulk sweeteners instead of sugar and corn syrup.
What makes chewing gum so sticky?
The chewable base of the chewing gum is composed of food-grade polymers (long-chain molecules) and components ensuring pliancy and elasticity. They are the reason why chewing gum tends to stick to surfaces. It adapts exactly to surface structures and hence sticks to them. A separating film, such as that formed by water or saliva in the mouth, prevents such interactions – which is why chewing gum doesn’t stick to the teeth. Outside the mouth it sticks to surfaces more readily since the separating film of water is missing. The smoother the surface structure is, the easier it is to peel off the chewing gum again.
What is chewing gum base?
The base is the actual “gum” on which one chews. The natural chewable base consists of resins and the rubber and latex of certain trees growing predominantly in South America, Indonesia, and Malaysia. In South America, for example, the latex of the sapodilla tree is harvested to obtain “chicle”, a traditional and time-tested basis for chewing gum.
Can sugar-free chewing gum help to prevent tooth decay?
Yes. Regularly chewing sugar-free chewing gum for at least 20 minutes after eating or drinking can help to reduce tooth demineralisation. Tooth demineralisation is a risk factor in the development of dental caries. Chewing chewing gum produces up to 10 times more saliva in the mouth. Saliva, which is particularly rich in minerals, can help make dental enamel harder and more resistant to plaque acid attacks.