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Swallowing chewing gum, dangerous or harmless

  1. Chewing gum is a candy and gives a fresh taste in the mouth. In addition, many people enjoy chewing gum. It stimulates saliva production and is often chewed as a substitute for other sweets. Chewing gum is not intended to be swallowed. But what if you do? This can happen accidentally or on purpose. That chewing gum stays in the stomach for seven years is nonsense, but it can indeed be a health hazard.

What is chewing gum?

  1. Chewing gum is a food that is intended for chewing, not eating. Chewing gum is made from gum, which is the sap that trees produce. Not every tree is suitable for this. There are more than 20 types of trees that have suitable gum. By making a cut in the trunk of the tree, it will 'bleed': gum flows from the bark. This is collected and processed in a factory. Nowadays gum is also made synthetically.


  1. You chew gum. It seems very logical, but for small children this is not the case. Small children should not be exposed to chewing gum just like that: they swallow it. A child must learn to spit out chewing gum. Parents must supervise this. Also, small children should not run around or play with chewing gum: chances are that the chewing gum will shoot up the throat.

Is swallowing dangerous?

  1. Most people just spit out their gum. Still, there are people who swallow the gum. This can happen accidentally, but also on purpose. Accidentally swallowing chewing gum is not harmful, as this only occurs sporadically. The gum is not broken down in the stomach. The stomach acid is unable to do this. The chewing gum passes through the entire digestive system without being broken down. Ingredients such as xylitol, sorbitol, sugars and aromas and flavors are broken down in the intestines.

Pregnant and swallowing gum

  1. Chewing gum that is accidentally swallowed during pregnancy will simply leave the gastrointestinal tract in the normal way. Deliberately swallowing gum while pregnant can be dangerous. During pregnancy, digestion often works more slowly, which makes pregnant women more likely to suffer from constipation (constipation). Chewing gum will therefore get stuck in the intestines more quickly. Other than the danger of constipation, there are no other dangers when chewing gum is swallowed. The ingredients are broken down, but they can have a laxative effect. Although a laxative effect is nice when you suffer from constipation, it is not the intention to solve this with chewing gum. Eat enough fiber and fruit during pregnancy.

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