Is Swallowing a Chewing Gum Safe?

Is Swallowing a Chewing Gum Safe?

Last Reviewed : 12/18/2020
Is Swallowing a Chewing Gum Safe?

Have you ever paused to ponder over the implication of allowing your kids swallow gums after chewing it? If you have never done that before, then this piece is dedicated to people like you. So, continue reading to find out interesting facts about swallowing chewing gums.

What Happens When You Swallow Gums?

Swallowing a chewing gum is a matter of concern, especially in kids. More often than not, parents get apprehended when their kid(s) swallow chewing gum. But there is nothing to worry about it. Swallowing a small chewing gum once in a while is probably safe. However, on rare occasions, where large amounts of gums have been swallowed along with other foreign materials, it resulted in blockade of the intestines. For this reason, swallowing should not be encouraged.

There is a myth associated with swallowing of chewing gum. Well, this belief holds that swallowed gum sits in the stomach for seven years before it gets digested. The thing is, this is completely false. Human intestine cannot digest the gum. The chewing gum simply moves from the stomach along with other food material into the intestines, where the nutrients are absorbed and are finally pushed into the rectum. It is then excreted out as feces or stools. So, it generally takes about one to two days depending on the motility of the intestine.


According to one article published in the Journal of Pediatrics, swallowed gum caused intestinal blockages. Given that they are made up of raisins that are sticky, they can cause intestinal blockage, especially when they are swallowed with other foreign objects.

In a similar vein , International Chewing Gum Association advises that swallowing gums can lead to choking and altered bowel habits.

In conclusion, swallowing a chewing gum does not usually cause any major problems and gets excreted in stools. But then , problems may arise when several gums are swallowed together, swallowed frequently, or when gums are swallowed with other objects. The most important takeaway here is that you should keep a close tab on how your child eats gums. This way, you can determine the quantity that is enough or too much for him or her.

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