What Happens If You Swallow Chewing Gum?

What Happens If You Swallow Chewing Gum?


Chewing gum is a popular pastime enjoyed by millions of people around the world. It comes in various flavors and provides a refreshing burst of taste. However, there is a common misconception that if you accidentally swallow chewing gum, it will stay in your stomach for years. Let’s explore the truth behind this myth and find out what really happens when you swallow gum.

Digestion Process

When you swallow any food or drink, your body goes through a complex digestion process to break it down and extract the necessary nutrients. Chewing gum is no exception. The digestive system tries to process the gum just like any other substance, but there are a few unique characteristics to consider.

First, the chewing gum base is made of synthetic rubber, which is not easily digested by the body’s enzymes. However, this doesn’t mean it will stay in your stomach forever. The digestive system is designed to move things along, and eventually, the gum will continue its journey through the intestines.

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Passage Through the Intestines

As the gum travels through your digestive tract, it gets mixed with other waste materials and forms a sticky mass. This mass passes through the intestines, where the body absorbs nutrients from food. While the gum may take a bit longer to pass through compared to other foods, it will eventually make its way out of your body through normal bowel movements.

In rare cases, if you swallow a large amount of gum or if it combines with other indigestible materials like hair or seeds, it could potentially cause a blockage in the intestines. However, this is extremely rare and usually occurs in children with pre-existing gastrointestinal conditions. The average person need not worry about such complications.


So, what happens if you swallow chewing gum? It doesn’t get stuck in your stomach for years, as the old myth suggests. While it may take a little longer to pass through your system, it will eventually be eliminated naturally. Your body is designed to handle small indigestible substances, and chewing gum is no exception. So, the next time you accidentally swallow a piece of gum, you can rest assured knowing that it will safely make its way out of your body.

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