Here’s What Really Happens When You Swallow Chewing Gum

We’ve all heard the rumors, myths, and stories about swallowing chewing gum, but it’s time we got this sorted out once and for all — so what actually happens?


Will it really stay in your stomach for seven years and cause you to explode one day (or blow pink bubbles from…; elsewhere)?


Er, no. Dr. Lisa Ganjhu, says, “Your GI tract is very strong — if it can digest a tough steak, it can digest gum.”

Chewing gum passes through your body like anything else, but, as it’s largely made up of chemicals, it doesn’t get absorbed by the small intestine like most foods.


“Once it’s in, it’ll go out,” says Dr. Ganju, “There is no specific time frame because everyone’s digestive system motility is different.”

But that doesn’t mean you should start dining on gum.

“Chewing gum has absolutely no nutritional value, so most health professionals would advise against swallowing it. It won’t harm or kill you but it just isn’t logical to swallow it purposefully.”


And Dr. Ganju points out that, like any large piece of food, enormous wads of gum can lodge in your windpipe and cause choking, so don’t go crazy trying to show off your bubble-blowing skills.

So if you accidentally swallow a piece of gum every now and then, you can relax.


But you might want to share this article with someone who spouts old wives’ tales every time you offer them a stick of gum…;