Originally, ancient civilisations chewed tree and other soft resins for medicinal purposes and enjoyment. There is evidence that prehistoric Europeans would use birch bark tar to help relieve toothache, while the Mayans and Aztecs used gum to satiate their thirst or hunger.
A scientist called Thomas Adams invented the first flavoured gums, but it wasn’t until industrialist William Wrigley Jr began promoting chewing gum that the product truly became popular. By the 1930s and 40s, the introduction of synthetic rubbers made mass production even easier. In the 1950s, sugar-free chewing gum was introduced by a dentist who sold the idea to Wrigley’s.
Chewing gum after eating can be useful if you can’t clean your teeth because it stimulates saliva flow, helping to wash away loose food particles and bacteria. If you do enjoy chewing gum, choose sugar-free gum to protect your oral health and make sure you chew gum in moderation because it can fatigue your jaws.