These are the Side Effects to Your Body When You Swallow Chewing Gum

Feb 15, 2021 11:04 AM EST | By Joshua Summers (

These are the Side Effects to Your Body When You Swallow Your Chewing Gum
(Photo : Mark Kolbe)
Donovan Mitchell of the USA blows a bubblegum bubble during the warm-up before the International Friendly Basketball match between Canada and the USA at Qudos Bank Arena on August 26, 2019 in Sydney, Australia.

It freshens your breath and eases out your nervousness when you are about to perform or present; chewing gum is always to the rescue. As a child, the different fruity flavors may be the key factor why these chewable are still present in your pocket. However, as a child, you might have accidentally swallowed your gum, and various myths might cloud up the natural side effects gums do to your body.

Fear not because we are here to address what happens when you swallow a gum piece and end the fear that clouds the facts of what happens.

The body breaks it

Your parents or friends might have told you that chewing gum will stay in your body forever because it cannot be digested. The part that the gum cannot be digested is somehow actual. In an interview with Eat This Not That, Pediatric Gastroenterologist from Duke University Health, Nancy McGreal, M.D., shares that the gum base is insoluble, just like the fiber people get from the vegetables and fruits they eat. Eat This Not That furthers that after swallowing the gum, the nutrients and other preservatives will be broken down, and the gum base will just get lumped as waste with other foods, and it will not stick to anything.

Read also: What Kind of Foods Should You Eat for Your Teeth

Chewing gum and intestinal blockage

Kids Health shares that in sporadic cases or occasions, ingesting a large amount of gum or even many small pieces of gum over a short period of time can block the digestive tract. They add that this happens when the gum is swallowed with foreign objects such as coins or even non-digestible materials like sunflower seeds. So even if this happens rarely, make sure to be with your children when they chew on their gums.

It does not stay for 7 years in the body.

Seven years is very long for a gum to sit on your stomach. Elizabeth Rajan, M.D. notes in Mayo Clinic that the gum moves relatively with other foods and is excreted in your stool. However, Yale experts share with Eat This Not That that chewing gum takes roughly 40 hours to seven days before it comes out of your body. So be careful not to swallow them. Pediatric Gastroenterologist from Nemours Children's Clinic, David Milov, M.D., shares that the gum probably passes slower than most food stuff. Eventually, it will still come out of the digestive tract unmolested.

Repeated Swallowing may cause you pain.

Although swallowing chewing is not a problem, making it a habit is still not safe for the body. According to Healthline, regardless of age, people should not repeatedly swallow the gum as it can cause abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, and chronic constipation. They add that constantly chewing gum can cause jaw and dental problems.

Although chewing gum possesses minimal danger when swallowed, the side effects of doing it still linger and should be observed. Remember that chewing gum is for chewing and not eating.

Related article: Chewing Gum Sensor: The Future of Wearable Technology

WATCH: Here's What Happens In Your Body When You Swallow Gum from Tech Insider

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