Chewing gum is made from gum, sugar, colorings, and odor. The composition of gum is quite difficult to digest – it is a mixture of elastomers, resin, fat, emulsified milk, and beeswax. When entering the stomach, only easily decompose components are absorbed, and the gum is not.
In general, your stomach cannot decompose gum in the same way as other foods. But the digestive system has its own way to handle the things you swallow. Not every day you still eat all the things that your body can’t digest. But, if you really swallow the gum, what happens after that?
Dr Rodger Liddle, a gastroenterologist from Duke University School of Medicine, said: “Nothing is likely to stay long inside the body unless it is too large to be removed from the stomach or stuck in the intestine “.
When swallowed, the chewing-gum will also pass through the digestive system like all other foods. Body secretions can immediately break down some components of chewing gum, such as sweeteners and oil extracts, but with preservatives or elastomers, it takes some days.
The chewing process does not have too much impact to make the gum change. The digestive juices in saliva are responsible for breaking down the components of chewing gum, such as sweeteners, flavoring agents and emollients, however, this enzyme does not work with the gum’s gum substrate.
You may have noticed that gum is almost unaffected by the crushing of teeth. So when you swallow the gum, it will move through the digestive tract, into your stomach in the form of a large block.
Dr Ganjhu said: “When swallowing gum into the body, it is also discharged like other foods, only the unknown time because the digestibility of each person is different.”
The intestine only contributes constantly to squeeze food out of the digestive system and out. Gum finally ends its journey after 2 days. So, even though the gum sticks, it still doesn’t win the power of the digestive system.
However, this does not mean that you can swallow chewing gum regularly for a relatively short period of time, especially children, because a large amount of candy is accumulated in the intestines or stomach, the risk of gastrointestinal obstruction causing constipation is very high. In many cases, doctors have had to resort to surgery to take them out.
Got a story for us? Need to tell us about something amazing you’ve seen or done? Want us to investigate something? Get in touch!
Email email@example.com, and you could even earn money for your stories or tips.