Taylor Dental July 2018

WHAT IS BUBBLEGUM FLAVOR? We All Know It — But What Is It Really ?

Chewing gum has existed in one form or another for about 6,000 years. We can’t get enough of the stuff. Research has shown that chewing gum temporarily boosts memory and focus. Plus, sugar-free gum helps reduce plaque and prevents the formation of cavities. It wasn’t until the 1800s that the first flavored gums came to market. The first flavors were sweet and somewhat floral. As sweetened gum took off in popularity, gum makers experimented with new flavors, some of the earliest being licorice and the classic spearmint. In 1928, gum was changed forever. Walter Diemer, an accountant with the Fleer Corporation, was experimenting with a new product. At the time, Fleer was known for a chewing gum called Blibber-Blubber, but company leaders weren’t impressed with how sticky the gum was; it didn’t make for good bubbles. Diemer thought he could fix this. During one experiment, he added some flavoring to his new gum base, then added some pink food dye. Pink was all he could find at the time, but everyone at Fleer loved it. The gum tasted good, and it was the right consistency to blow bubbles.

But let’s come back to the flavor Diemer added. While we don’t know exactly what Diemer used in his experiment, it was closely replicated for future batches of what became Fleer’s crowning product, Dubble Bubble. It’s the flavor we all know as “bubblegum” and it doesn’t exist anywhere in nature. It’s completely artificial, but flavor scientists have isolated what it is most of us taste when we chew bubblegum: banana, strawberry, and fruit punch. Basically, it’s mildly fruity. The flavor itself was developed using esters, which are chemical compounds noted for having fruity or sweet aromas. Different esters produce different flavors. For example, the ester known as isoamyl acetate smells and tastes like banana, while ethyl methylphenylglycidate is what gum and candy makers use for strawberry flavor. The flavor does vary between gum companies. There is no “official” bubblegum flavor recipe. But the next time you’re chewing some bubblegum, see if you can’t identify the flavors. Do you taste the banana? How about the strawberry?

Under Pressure What You Can Do About Jaw Pain

Did you know the average strength of a human jaw can produce a bite of 162 pounds per square inch (psi)? This is enough to scratch pure iron, but it’s nothing compared to the power of some jaws in the animal kingdom. The strongest bite on Earth belongs to the Nile crocodile of sub-Saharan Africa, at 5,000 psi. You definitely don’t want to get on this croc’s bad side. Your jaw is designed to help you bite and tear food, but some meals are a little tougher on your jaw than others. Some of the most difficult foods to eat, in terms of jaw pressure, are things like nuts (especially walnuts), popcorn (due to the kernels), and raw fruits or vegetables, which put extra pressure on the incisors. Even softer foods can wear out your jaw. Well-done steak and caramel candy require extra chewing, and therefore extra jaw pressure. Eating a lot of food that’s hard on your jaw can lead to pain, but if you experience chronic jaw pain, it might not be caused by your diet. Jaw pain can be brought on by a number of problems, including the following: TEETH GRINDING A lot of people grind their teeth due to stress, but you can also grind your teeth in your sleep without realizing it. Grinding in your sleep is often a sign of a sleep disorder like sleep apnea.

UNTREATED CAVITY If you fail to get a cavity treated right away, the damage can work its way beneath your enamel and down the pulp of your tooth. Most people with major cavities aren’t able to determine which tooth is the problem because the pain radiates throughout their jaw. BAD BITE If your teeth aren’t lined up right, you can end up with an overbite or an underbite. A bad bite can get in the way of your ability to chew, wearing out your jaw muscles and leading to pain. A lot of the time, your dentist can help you determine the cause of your jaw pain. If you suffer from an aching jaw, be sure to mention it during your next appointment. We’d be happy to help you find the reason and the solution for your pain.

Taylor Dental • www.AndrewTaylorDental.com • (850) 478-8005 2

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