Many people experience gas on a daily basis, and though it may be embarrassing to talk about, it’s important to understand how gas builds up in the body so that you can experience relief.1
One reason chewing gum may cause gas is because chewing gum causes some people to take in more air, which can cause gas buildup.1 Chewing gum is a popular American habit, with many people using it as a tool to reduce cravings and snacking during the day. Some people may chew gum as a way to mask odorous breath, or simply because chewing gum can be fun. But could this so-called “healthy” habit actually be upsetting your stomach?
Gas Pains From Chewing Gum?
First thing’s first: if you’re chewing a lot of gum, you’re most likely swallowing more air than you normally would, which can result in gas. So in this instance, it’s not the actual gum that’s causing gas or bloating but the act of chewing it. This is known as air swallowing (aerophagia), which is when people swallows small amounts of air by eating or drinking rapidly, chewing gum, and even smoking.1 Belching is the most common way that swallowed air—which contains nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide—leaves your stomach.1
The second part of this answer is a little more complicated. If you’re chewing sugar-free gum because you’ve decided it’s healthier than the full-sugar alternative, you may actually be creating more gas in your digestive system. This is because some sugar-free gum is sweetened with sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, and erythritol, carbohydrates that can contribute to gas in the body. While everyone has a different tolerance to these artificial sweeteners, they have been known to cause excess gas in the colon — and in severe cases, cramping and diarrhea.
Raffinose, stachyose, and verbascoce are other types of sugars that can cause gas and bloating, found specifically in legumes like beans.1 If you notice that your diet includes soft drinks and fruits drinks, which contain the sugar fructose, then this may also be something you want to eliminate or diminish your intake of on a daily basis.1
The Bottom Line
If you’re chewing a lot of sugar-free gum during the day, it could be causing cramps, gas, and bloating. If you can’t cut gum out completely, just try to lessen the amount you pop into your mouth during the day. Your doctor may also recommend that you try to eat fewer foods that cause gas, such as vegetables, whole grains, and milk products, which can cause gas and bloating.1 Limiting high-fat foods may be another recommendation to follow, as these foods can cause bloating and discomfort.1 To reduce your intake of swallowed air from chewing gum or by drinking or eating rapidly, slow the pace at which you eat.1
And if gas or bloating does happen to catch you unaware, find fast relief with Gas-X Extra Strength Chewables. Thanks to the addition of simethicone, the number-one doctor-recommended medicine for fast gas relief among OTC brands, Gas-X Extra Strength Chewables are a trustworthy way to relieve gas fast, so you can get back to enjoying your day.