Cinnamon chewing gum refers to any brand of chewing gum that has been treated with artificial cinnamon flavors. These flavors tend to make the gum spicy, and chewing this type of gum initially feels like chewing on a warm, rubbery pepper. While some people who chew cinnamon gum find the spicy quality of the flavor to be overwhelming, many people enjoy the heat and also prefer other similarly flavored candies or snacks. The heat from cinnamon chewing gum does not typically come from the plant or spice commonly known as cinnamon, but from artificial flavors that create the spiciness and warmth in the mouth of the chewer.
Chewing gum has existed in a variety of forms for thousands of years. While most gum is currently made by using a form of non-vulcanized synthetic rubber, there is evidence of 5,000-year-old chewing gum made from birch bark tar. Cultures from across the world over the last few thousand years have made gum from wax, resin, and other similar substances. In the 1800s, however, modern gum first came into being when chicle, a natural latex product, was exported from Mexico for use as a rubber substitute. While chicle failed to find much successful use in replacing rubber, it was found to be an excellent base for making gum.
The chicle has been replaced by most gum manufacturers in favor of other, less expensive forms of synthetic latex and rubber. These substances are researched and designed to hold flavor for as long as possible in response to the common complaint of many gum chewers that gum loses its flavor too quickly while being chewed. Cinnamon chewing gum often suffers from this problem, and within a short time of chewing, the initial heat and spiciness is replaced by mild warmth and tingling upon the chewer’s tongue.
Though chewing gum sweetened with sugar can have negative effects on a person’s teeth, chewing gum with certain artificial sweeteners and other ingredients has been shown to reduce plaque and cavities. Cinnamon chewing gum with the sweetener xylitol can help keep teeth clean because the process of chewing the gum starves microorganisms that would otherwise be harmful in someone’s mouth. The vinyl acetate used by some gum manufacturers has leaders of countries like Canada concerned about potentially carcinogenic substances that should not be placed in a person’s mouth. Since the ingredients are often listed only as "gum base" by manufacturers, keeping such undesirable substances away from public consumption has been difficult.