A Sticky Situation

Do you know about the sticky situation going around?

Ash (Emily) Hammock enjoys a stick of gum.

Lil Clay

Ash (Emily) Hammock enjoys a stick of gum.

Lil Clay, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Chewing gum. It’s pretty popular nowadays. Teenagers are seen chewing it in schools, at stores, pretty much everywhere. But it’s also found in parking lots, parks, under desks, and many many more places.

“You can buy it pretty much anywhere that sells things,” said freshman Jax Drezek. For instance, gas stations, grocery stores, and convenience stores.

“They are usually sold at the end of the isles,” Drezek said. In between searching for particular items, the little packages are clear to see on shelves.

But what most people don’t know about gum is what is inside it. According to Dr. Saurabh Arora, who is also a speaker for India TV, gum contains sheepskin. Yep, that’s right, you could be chewing on sheepskin. 

“It has been found that chewing gum contains lanolin, which is a waxy secretion from the sebaceous glands of the skin of sheep.,” Dr. Arora said.

It is common knowledge that chewing gum is horrible for our teeth. According to Helen West, a writer and dietitian for HealthLine, the sugar in chewing gum is broken down by bad bacteria in your mouth. Which causes an increase in the amount of plaque on your teeth and an increase in tooth decay over time. Sugar is also well known for being linked to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance. 

And even if you were to switch to sugar-free gum, it’s not much better. It’s known to have some dangerous artificial sweeteners that are linked to digestive distress and diarrhea. This is because sugar-free gum contains laxatives- medications that people use to loosen stool to ease its passage. Too much of it can cause many bad side effects, such as rectal bleeding, severe cramps and pains, dizziness, weakness or unusual tiredness, bloody stools, and confusion. 

Another problem that chronic chewing gum introduces an illness called temporomandibular disorder. This condition, a feeling of intense pain in your jaw when you chew, has been claimed to be linked to excessive chewing. 

In the end, chewers and non-chewers alike are affected by this disease-causing sheepskin goo. It is known for having plastic polymers, which do not break down easily within the environment. So when gum is spat out onto the ground, it just sits there until picked up or eaten by an animal. According to Josh Peterson, a writer for Howstuffworks, chewing gum is the second most littered thing in the world. Chemicals in chewing gum can also give off a harmful odor. 

So what can be done? Well, the next time you purchase gum, think twice about what you’re chewing on.