What actually happens when you swallow gum

Gum-swallowing is something that I have always been concerned about. Considering I’ve swallowed many pieces I researched what actually happens when you swallow gum.

As a child I would constantly swallow my gum. My siblings and I would have competitions with who could chew the most amount of gum. My brother would always win, as he was known for constantly having a huge wad of gum stored in his cheek. After our contests I would spit the wad out, but he would always swallow it. I begin to feel concern for his safety because I thought that with the amount of gum he was swallowing on a daily basis, he would die from a ball of gum forming in his stomach.


Here in this picture is what I thought my brother felt after the insane amount he has swallowed. Before I swallowed my gum for the first time I was nervous that I would not be able to stand up. I made it out alive and it is safe to say that my brother has survived his gum-swallowing days.

From an article on www.kidshealth.org, Dr. Gupta describes the facts about swallowing gum and what it can do to your digestive tract. He described how the gum can actually block your digestive tract which can complicate some things especially going to the bathroom. All the gum does is travel down your digestive tract. It is never digested. He reassures his audience that swallowing an occasional piece of gum will not hurt you but swallowing every piece of gum could lead to complications. The only time where it will cause harmful damage is if the gum is swallowed with similar smaller objects that get stuck together. Then those objects stuck to the gum could cause a severe blockage in the digestive tract and need to be removed. Gum also contain a lot of sugar that can damage your body once it is swallowed. Over the course of time it can contribute to a lot of calories from the amount of sugar in each piece. Kids should not be allowed to chew gum until they fully understand the reprocussions that can happen from swallowing gum. On the same article, Dr. Gupta attached a voting poll asking the question if you have ever swallowed gum before. When I reviewed the votes, I saw that out of the 72,417 voters 89.26% had swallowed gum before (kids health). These statistics did not shock me because I expect that people have swallowed their gum once or twice in their lives.

In conclusion, I believe that you should not swallow gum because your chances of digestive tract complications only increases. Some people might read this article and think it’s not that important, so I swallow a few pieces of gum, whats the big deal? In the grand scheme of life, this is definitely not a big deal. But, for those few of you, who have swallowed every single piece of gum since they were younger…go see your doctor.


5 thoughts on “What actually happens when you swallow gum

  1. Olivia Helen Dearment

    This has always been a topic I was interested about, thinking about al the crazy repercussions of swallowing gum. When I was little it used to be such a big deal with one of my friends or I accidentally swallowed our gum. I can totally understand how constant or frequent swallowing of gum can disrupt the digesting tract. Additionally, the excess sugars could be detrimental setting there in your system. Ever since my mom would hear stories of the sugars, she refuses to buy non-sugar free gum. Here’s a article about the effects of both.

  2. Jessy Severino

    This is post brings back a lot of memories. As a kid my mom always told me not to swallow my gum because it would stay in my stomach for seven years. reading this blog post was very insightful. I was able to learn that swallowing gum can have really bad consequences like having things get stuck to the gum in your digestive system and it blocks the digestive track. Overall this was a very interesting post.

  3. Celine Degachi

    I have always wondered about this. I’ve always heard so many different things about how swallowing gum is super bad for you. The most common thing I would hear is that gum actually takes 10 years to get out of your system after swallowing it. This post actually finally got me to researching how long gum takes to leave your system. I was please to find after reading this article http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/03/it-does-not-take-7-years-to-digest-gum/ , that gum actually leaves your system in a day or two. It’s also relieving to know that swallowing gum doesn’t have any severe effects on your body.

  4. Jovian Ebony Osborne-pantlitz

    I am glad you answered one of the biggest myth or fact questions I pondered. As a kid i was told gum stick to your heart. Dramatic much, I know, but it prevented me from swallowing gum. To finally find out it damages your digestive system if swallowed to many is just as scary. In the article below the author talks about other bad side effects chewing gum has on the body.

  5. Olivia Frederickson

    Gum is a very interesting topic in general and it makes me think more about other health concerns that may be the results from chewing gum. Although it’s an easy way to freshen breath, relieve stress, and may even be a component to helpful studying tactics, what really comes out of chewing gum. Swallowing gum is certainly a health concern, but what else? This article, http://www.thankyourbody.com/chewing-gum-is-bad/ , shows seven negative affects of gum, unfortunately. To me, they make sense since it is a lot a unnatural activity for the body including swallowing air, excessive jaw movements, and ingesting artificial sweeteners and other artificial ingredients according to thankyourbody.com. Maybe chewing gum in general is just as bad as swallowing it.

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