Alternatives to Chewing Gum

One of the things I miss most is chewing gum. After all, I’m Italian and I eat a lot of garlic. So it’s kind of mandatory for instantly fresh breath. I hate to break it to you but there is no such thing as paleo chewing gum. Maybe gnawing on a stick from a birch tree??

True story: When I was young, my dad told me to taste one of the trees in our yard. I’m not kidding. He shaved off the tip of a branch and handed it to me. I chewed on it. Birch is delicious. Shoulda known then that I would end up turning primal as an adult.


Sure, there are all natural chewing gum options like Glee Cliche gum sweetened with xylitol. But seriously though…xylitol? It doesn’t even sound paleo.


Regular ‘sugar free’ gum is sweetened with sorbitol. Firstly, that’s gross. Secondly, it’s actually pretty bad for your stomach lining. And entire GI tract. It’s basically a laxative so if you have Ulcerative Colitis and you’re tired of being in remission, this’ll get you right back on prednisone in no time! As if you already didn’t have frequent trip to the bathroom, sorbitol will get you there much quicker.

If you don’t want to gnaw on a tree branch like my 6-year-old self, here are some other options to fresh breath:

WATER. Believe it or not a lot of that stank can come from your stomach and digestion. Tame it with water so it can guide digestion and improve your breath.



(perfect for UC/Crohn’s sufferers with its stomach soothing anti-inflammatory properties)

You may be living under a rock if you don’t know mint can freshen breath. Peppermint has also been rumored to help sooth the stomach and aid in digestion. HOWEVER – CAUTION! Personally, I am highly sensitive to mint leaves. My Ulcerative Colitis does NOT like mint. I could eat one leaf and be in the bathroom in literally 15 minutes. (You’re welcome for the visual).


Talk about an Italian way to freshen breath!


So next time you eat a garlicky meal like my Spinach Pesto Spaghetti Squash or Broccoli Rabe and Sausage, remember these fresh breath alternatives!


10 thoughts on “Alternatives to Chewing Gum

  1. Cynthia Johnson

    In my family it was the sassafras tree and anise. I won’t be so quick to reach for gum thanks to this post. My stomach thanks you in advance!

  2. Pingback: Classic Paleo Gremolata | Mangia Paleo

  3. Samm

    It there anything else you could use? My daughter has the worst case of bad breath at the moment. She absolutely HATES anything with mint in it, hates anise & can’t stand ginger etc. She drinks plenty of water. Any help would be much appreciated.

    1. Mangia Paleo

      Thank you for your question. Sounds like a tough case! It may be possible that the bad breath is actually due to a bacterial imbalance or different issue in the gut. If this is a chronic case and she has great oral hygiene and no issues in the mouth I would focus on the gut. Does she take a probiotic? Eat too many sugary foods? Is she eating too much dairy? Things to think about.

      Best to you!

  4. Sheri Harris

    I quit nicotine gum and had a hysterectomy at the same time 4 months ago. You must understand my nicotine gum was a 20 year habit and I was downing a whopping 630 pieces every two weeks…yes it is crazy. Needless to say it kept my weight down. I have gained 10 pounds and have turned to eating Paleo. I am doing good but I have kept the 10 pounds. I now chew ALOT of sugarless gum. I try to stop but it is a habit from the other gum. Do you think this is the reason I am not losing weight? I barely am eating any carbs. I have an rare sweet potato and eat some squash..but no bread; rice; sugar; grain of any sort. I do eat a lot of meat. I want to lose my 10 pounds so bad!

    1. Mangia Paleo

      Hi Sheri,

      Those stubborn 10 pounds seem to trip lots of people up. Although I’m not well-versed in weight loss nor am I a dietary expert, it doesn’t seem like the gum would be the culprit. It’s hard for me to give specific advice without knowing tons of info, especially since everyone is different. An expert dietician or nutritionist may be able to help. Or you may check with your physician who knows your medical history. There may be contributing factors we don’t know about. Best of luck to you!


  5. Tamie

    As for bad breath, a great way to minimize bad breath is to clean your tongue and NOT with your tooth brush. Stomach issues – garlicky foods and sinus drainage contribute to bad breath. Use a tongue scraper such as an OOlitt. Breath Rx has a great tongue cleaner – on Amazon. As for chewing gum – I LOVED chewing gum until my jaw pain demanded I stop.

What do you think?

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