Everyone’s mouth: 150 years of chewing gum

“Some chew chewing gum for dental care, others because of stress, such as the former Bayern FC coach Carlo Ancelotti, who chewed 14 plates in one match,” writes the German edition Süddeutsche Zeitung .

The first patent for chewing gum was received 150 years ago by Amos Tyler from Ohio, according to journalist Ulrike Heidenreich. “With his recipe for improved chewing gum, Tyler went to the Patent Office in 1869. But one general brought the chewing mixture to the United States from Mexico: he had a“ chiclet ”- thickened milky sap of the sapodilla tree. Later, various inventors improved the taste of gooey masses with mint or tolu balsam, “the article says.

“Due to the activity of the jaw muscles, chewing gum helps relieve tension on the muscles of the face, which in turn can lead to a general feeling of relaxation,” says Charles Panati’s General History of Absolutely Ordinary Things. “This probably also explains the fact that even at a time when the struggle for survival was more fierce, people chewed everything that was suitable for this by consistency: (…) in Sweden, for example, 9 thousand years ago chewed birch “resin, an unsightly piece that archaeologists found was the first chewing gum in the world.”

Unsightly chewing gum has remained to this day. “Anyone who throws away chewing gum on a street in Singapore will have to pay 300 euros. Chewing gum has been banned there for aesthetic reasons since 1992, with one exception: pharmacies can sell sugar-free dragees for dental care, as well as nicotine gum.”

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Since chewing gum appeared, scientists have been exploring its potential medical benefits. “It supposedly improved blood circulation in the brain and increased heart rate, it allegedly acted as a kind of yoga for the mouth. In one study, Australian scientists asked subjects to chew gum, and just rhythmically move their jaw. Since in each case, people increased their ability to concentrate, scientists came to the conclusion that the chewing process plays a major role in this. Whether people chew air or chewing gum does not ultimately matter, “writes Süddeutsche Zeitung.

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