Dental Blog

History of Chewing Gum

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Is there anything more quintessentially American than bubble gum? You might be surprised to learn that chewing gum (in one form or another) has been around for thousands of years.

Some of the first examples of chewing gum actually originated in the Americas. The ancient Mayans chewed chicle, which is the sap from the sapodilla tree, while North American Indians chewed the sap from spruce trees. This habit was passed down to early settlers, who made a chewing gum from spruce sap and beeswax.

It was not until 1848 that the commercial chewing gum, called the State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum, was sold by John B. Curtis. Tutti-Frutti was the first gum to be sold via vending machine in 1888 and 1928 the famous Double Bubble was born, though it was not the first bubble-gum created (that honor goes to Blibber-Blubber which was invented by Frank Fleer in 1906).

Bubble gum played a big role during WWII. It was given to soldiers as a healthy stress reliever, an alternative to cigarettes and GIs spread the popularity worldwide by trading it and giving it as gifts to people in Europe, Africa, Asia and around the world.

Today there are more than 1,000 varieties of gum manufactured and sold in the United States and people on average chew 182 sticks a year.

From its humble beginnings thousands of years ago, chewing gum has become one of the most popular form of candies in the world. What is your favorite flavor?

Don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly to help avoid cavities!