Swallowing Gum

Chewing gum and swallowing

What really happens if we swallow our gum? Did chewing gum really sit in our stomach for seven years?

Many people believe that swallowed gum is likely to stick inside to the stomach.

It is true that our stomach doesn't digest gum at all, however gum doesn’t stay in our stomach forever.

Facts about chewing gum and stomach

Main ingredient for chewing gum is gum base. Gum base can be natural or synthetic (soluble fiber). Chewing gum has added flavorings, sweeteners, food colorings, and preservatives. The sugars are absorbed by the body. The indigestible resin (gum base, natural or synthetic) is passed along the digestive tract and eliminated with a bowel movement.

Chewing gum passed in its undigested form safely through the digestive tract into the colon where it can be excreted into the stool. This process doesn’t take seven years. Chewing gum stays in stomach usually a day or two after we eat it.

When children swallow gum one of the biggest dangers is the risk of choking. Children under the age of six should not be given chewing gum (especially no bubble gum). For older child and adult person there is much less risk of swallowing gum.

So, many of the fears about swallowing gum are unfounded.

Note: This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.