Effects of chewing gum on your skin

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LONDON: IT’S a sure-fire way to freshen your breath but chewing gum could be having seriously adverse effects on our skin – and most people aren’t even aware of it.

Two celebrity dentists have issued warnings about regular gum chewing and the impact it can have on our faces.

As Imogen Bexfield, Founder and Medical director at White Swan Aesthetics, explains, chewing gum can cause lines, a squarer-looking jaw and even chip away at your teeth.

“Repeated facial expressions like smiling, squinting or, frowning do leave marks on your skin over time and chewing gum excessively can have an impact on these fine lines – particularly on and around the upper lip area which can contribute to wrinkles,” she said.

“Chewing gum also promotes muscle over-activity which can cause the jawline (masseter) to bulge. That ‘square-jawed’ look that we often see is usually the result of over-developed masseter muscles; they’re the muscles that are attached at the angle of your jaw and control your chewing.”

Dr Uchenna maintains that we should actually be chewing gum for no longer than 10 minutes (oops), adding: “Gum is great to help neutralise the effects of acids and sugar by stimulating the saliva. However, this is only as long as you chew for flavour, for around 10 minutes, and then spit it out. Otherwise you set up micro cracks and chips, which collect stains that look ageing. Also, over time, as teeth chip away, teeth get shorter. The shorter your front teeth are, the older you look!”

Ultimately, ageing is totally normal and natural so if you have no qualms about it (and you shouldn’t), then keep chewing away.