Almost everybody has swallowed a chewing gum for at least one time in their childhood. And you might have also done that accidentally or knowingly. But the matter is that you have been always told that swallowing a chewing gum is very dangerous. So is it really dangerous? Here’s what happens when you swallow a chewing gum.
Is there any harmful effect to swallow a chewing gum?
Swallowing chewing gum can have some really serious bad effects in rare cases but in general it has no or less bad effects. So if your child has accidentally swallowed a piece of chewing gum, it is of no harm however, he/she must be discouraged to develop the habit of in-taking chewing gum or otherwise it can lead to very dangerous situations.
What happens if we swallow a chewing gum too often?
Swallowing a large amount of chewing gum in a short period of time can be very dangerous since it can result in obstruction in digestive tract and ultimately in severe constipation. That is why, it is very alarming situation if your child has this bad habit of swallowing chewing gum every time. This can lead to some very serious problems therefore swallowing must be discouraged. For example, in 1998 a case emerged in which a four-year-old had constipation for more than two years. A surgery was done to take out a huge mass of chewing gum out of his rectum.
Can our stomach digest chewing gum?
Chewing gum is made of gum base, sweeteners, flavouring and coloring. The main ingredient of a chewing gum is the gum base that is indigestible since it is a mixture of resins, elastomers, fats, waxes, and emulsifiers. So in simple words, a chewing gum is not indigestible by our digestive system in spite of the powerful digestive enzymes. However, the stickiness of chewing gum is of no comparison in front of powerful gut muscles that push food along from stomach to anus.
Does the chewing gum remains in the stomach for 7 years?
Absolutely not, it is just a traditional belief that a swallowed chewing gum remains in the stomach for seven years and that it may wrap itself around one’s heart… but it is a myth. Chewing gum is indigestible, but it doesn’t remain in the gut for seven years, it is excreted after one or two days. The only way a chewing gum could remain in the gut for seven years is if it was swallowed in large quantity.