Is it bad to swallow gum or are there any worries? And is it especially dangerous for a child if he swallowed a piece of chewing gum? All answers!
Chewing gum swallowed – cause for concern?
Whether by mistake or on purpose because there is no rubbish bin nearby – many people have probably swallowed their chewing gum at some point. The assumption is that swallowed chewing gum is not digested in the stomach, it sticks together from the inside and can remain in the stomach for seven years. But can this happen or what happens when a pack of chewing gum is swallowed?
Can chewing gum get stuck in the body?
The sticky consistency of chewing gum is a concern for many. After all, it adapts perfectly to all surfaces and sticks there. However, this cannot happen in the body. The chewing gum is immediately enveloped in a film of moisture in the digestive tract, which ensures that there is no direct contact with the surface of the body. A chewing gum that has been swallowed has no chance of sticking in the body.
Can the body digest chew gum?
The body can’t do much with most of the chewing gum. It only removes sugar and additives such as flavorings from the food. Surrounded by the film of moisture, the sticky mass normally migrates from the stomach into the small intestine and then out into the large intestine without any problems. It is therefore usually not a problem if, in exceptional cases, chewing gum is accidentally swallowed.
When can it be dangerous to swallow chewing gum?
In exceptional cases, however, impairments can occur if the sticky mass gets into the digestive tract. The British Medical Journal reported on a woman who could no longer swallow. During an endoscopy, the doctors found that a five-by-five lump had lodged in the esophagus. The reason: the patients had swallowed three packs of chewing gum every day. With such a mass of sticky substance, chewing gum can build up into a large ball that gets stuck in the digestive tract. However, such a case is extremely rare.
Is it dangerous if a child swallows chewing gum?
Even if a child accidentally swallows chewing gum, which still has a smaller opening in the esophagus, there are usually no problems. The chewing gum travels back out through the digestive tract. Nevertheless, parents should be careful that their child does not swallow any chewing gum because in the worst case it can get into the trachea and block it.