As children, most of us were well informed about all of the horrible things that could happen if we swallowed our gum. But how long does it really to digest a chewing gum?
As children, most of us were well informed about all of the horrible things that could happen if we swallowed our gum, and most of them involved how incredibly long it would take to digest. Seven years remains a popular estimate, but how true is it?
Scientists say that what actually happens to it can be complicated, but rest assured it’ll most likely leave the body one way or another long before that.
Gum is made of digestible and indigestible components. The sugars, flavoring, and softeners are naturally processed by the body.
The materials used as gum bases, on the other hand aren’t.
Even though your body doesn’t break it down, it will pass through – unless there’s a lot. When a significant amount of gum is swallowed over time, it can stick together in the intestinal tract and form a mass.
In that case, constipation or vomiting will likely occur. If laxatives aren’t enough to make it pass, surgery will have to do the trick.
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it's the only solution for both children and adults.