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(R) amazing, gum chewing has always driven me absoultely crazy...(to the point that I would move my cubicle location at work to get away from a gum chewing neighbor!) I figured i was suffering from some kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder without a remedy.
(MB) This is one of those things where it's easy to come to that conclusion since most such people are rarely inclined to make any public pronouncements about it or get confrontational with offending gum chewers. Maybe it's time this changed.

(R) ran across this blurp which may actually point to a medical reason for avoiding gum chewing...mercury levels in the body...evidently a true story...
Hot Issue Part 3

This article submitted by AmalgamFree on 9/12/98.

Gebel T, Dunkelberg H.
(Influence of gum chewing and of amalgam fillings with dental contacts to metal fillings of different type on the urinary mercury content.) Einfluss des Kaugumikonsums sowie metallischen Restaurationen anderer Art auf den Quecksilberuringehalt.
Zbl Hyg 199:69-75 (1996) (In German with abstract in English )

ABSTRACT: "It had been shown previously by various authors that contact of amalgam fillings to metal fillings of different type can increase the electrochemically caused amalgam corrosion in vitro thus leading to an elevated release of mercury. So it was recommended to renounce of a dental contact of amalgam to metal fillings of other type. One aim of the present study was to evaluate possible influences of this contact in vivo on the urinary mercury contents in human volunteers. Neither approximal nor occlusal contacts had any influence on the urinary mercury excretion in comparison to a reference group with similar amalgam status. Furthermore, the influence of gum chewing on urinary mercury levels was taken into account. It could be shown that the consumption of chewing gum resulted in a significantly higher mean urinary mercury content in probands with amalgam fillings in comparison to people with similar amalgam status (gum chewers: 1.36 Hg/24 h vs. non-chewers 0.70 ug Hg/24 h). Thus, gum chewing has to be considered as important parameter of influence on the urinary mercury levels of people with amalgam fillings."
(MB) This is quite interesting! It doesn't address what I feel are the psychological reasons for gum chewing, but the spectre of mercury poisoning as a result of gum chewing may warrant further investigation.

(R) keep up the good work, you are not the only person silently suffering from gum chewers!
(MB) A good tactic to use with noisy gum chewers is to fart or belch noisily when they starting popping and cracking. When they complain about "that disgusting noise", you have your opening to address their own disgusting noise. Tell them that a fart or a belch only lasts for a second while their gum chewing noises go on interminably.

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