What Happens to Your Body When You Swallow Gum?

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Remember when you were a kid and your parents gave you a stern warning about swallowing your gum?

Since childhood, we’ve been ingrained with the idea that swallowing gum could lead to seven years of misery.

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While that has been proven false, if you do happen to swallow chewing gum, it’s important to know the potential effects.

What does your body do with gum?

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Chewing gum contains several parts, including the gum base that humans cannot digest. However, our bodies can digest all the additives that give gum its unique taste.

As for the gum base? It won’t be around for more than a week.

Your body excels at getting rid of non-nutritious things through the digestive process.

Is swallowing gum dangerous?

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While there are scientifically-proven benefits to chewing gum, little research exists that shows swallowing gum can cause health damage.

If you somehow happen to swallow a substantial amount of the sticky, sweet delight, you could experience digestive blockage issues.

Edwin McDonald, a gastroenterologist and associate director of adult nutrition at the University of Chicago, has this to say, “Repeatedly swallowing gum can lead to a bezoar, a small mass of indigestible material that can potentially lead to a bowel obstruction.”

So yeah… try not to do that.

How often can you swallow gum without suffering damage?

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Ultimately, swallowing gum tends to get a bit of a bad rap. Sure, it’s not ideal to take it all down. But if it happens occasionally, you’ll be just fine.

However, don’t make it a habit. Just listen to Yale experts if you need convincing.

“In order to avoid a potentially sticky situation, it is good practice to spit out your chewing gum.”

Have you ever accidentally swallowed your chewing gum? How did it make you feel? Feel like you’ve got a blockage?

Don’t freak out. Just tell us about your experience in the comments below!