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Is Swallowing Chewing Gum Dangerous?

By Ajanta Sen

All of us love chewing gums; especially the kids are just crazy about them. Kids not only enjoy chewing them, but also enjoy blowing bubbles with them.

However, what if you swallow a chewing gum by mistake? Have you ever thought what happens when a chewing gum goes inside your system?

According to an old myth, if you gulp a chewing gum, it will remain in your digestive tract for at least 7 years.

However, if you are really serious and want to know about what really happens when you swallow a chewing gum, read on this article to be acquainted with the same.

What Happens When A Chewing Gum Goes Inside?

Chewing gums are normally harmless, until you swallow them.

Swallowing one chewie doesn’t cause any damage, however if you swallow a number of gums at the same time, then in a few cases, it may block your digestive tract.

A majority of small children are ignorant about the usage of chewies, and hence they are very prone to be affected by the same.

What Really Happens When You Swallow A Chewing Gum?

When you swallow a gum by mistake, the gum is treated by your digestive system just like any other food substance.

A chewie is made of colouring agents, sweeteners and artificial flavours, these parts get easily broken down by your stomach’s digestive juices.

However, the gum base is a concoction of resins, elastomers, waxes, emulsifiers and fats that make it quite indigestible. Thus, this single part of a chewing gum opposes digestion; however, that doesn’t mean they won’t leave your stomach for 7 long years!

This gum base is moved through your digestive system slowly by the pushing actions of your gut. Finally, the gum gets eliminated from your system after 1-2 days by defaecation.

What Is The Right Age For A Kid To Chew A Gum?

You should not allow your kid to have a chewing gum, if he/she doesn’t understand the right usage of the gum. Usually, kids understand the difference between a candy and gum by the age of 5 years.

Thus, don’t offer chewies to your younger siblings, until they turn 5 and become fully aware that chewing gums are supposed to be chewed and not to be swallowed.

Is Chewing Gum Harmful For Children?

Excess of anything is bad. Chewies are full of sweeteners, so if your kids chew a lot of sugary chewies, it will result in extra calories.

Some chewing gums contain the flavour of cinnamon, which can irritate the mouth lining of your kid because of its spicy flavour. Hence, you must educate your child to spit out the gum after chewing it.

Always look for sugar-free chewing gums in order to prevent your teeth from cavities. Encourage your kids to stick to just 1 or 2 gums in a week and make them aware of the dangers of swallowing them.

Therefore, the moral here is to not swallow your chewing gum but to spit it out after you have finished chewing it.

Read more about: wellness chewing gum
Story first published: Sunday, January 24, 2016, 2:00 [IST]
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