MAR 20, 2018 7:43 PM PDT

What Happens When You Swallow Gum?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


You might've heard the old wives' tale about how swallowing chewing gum is bad because it'll stay at the bottom of your stomach forever. While swallowing chewing gum isn't particularly good for you, the science shows that it probably won't just sit in your stomach. So then, what does happen?

Your body is designed to move things in and out of your digestive tract as efficiently as possible while squeezing out every nutrient that it can. But unlike most of the foods you might consume throughout the day, gum doesn't break down, so you won't get any nutrition from it.

Nevertheless, the muscles throughout your digestive system will eventually move any gum you swallow to the end of your digestive tract. Furthermore, it'll emerge undigested, much like certain parts of corn or sunflower seeds after a bowel movement.

While swallowing your gum once or twice probably won't be the end of the world, we wouldn't recommend doing so in significant quantities. Consuming too much can eventually cause digestive system blockages, which could require emergency medical attention.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 07, 2020
Neuroscience
How Blindsight Helps Us Explain Consciousness
JUL 07, 2020
How Blindsight Helps Us Explain Consciousness
Blindsight is the phenomenon in which blind people can interact with their environments even though they can't see i ...
JUL 23, 2020
Plants & Animals
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
JUL 23, 2020
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
Sharks of all sizes are vital to coral reef ecosystems, both as predators and prey. Shark populations have rapidly decli ...
JUL 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
How Many Missions to Mars Have Been Successful?
JUL 31, 2020
How Many Missions to Mars Have Been Successful?
It’s commonly said that roughly half of all missions to Mars have succeeded- while roughly half have failed. But a ...
AUG 06, 2020
Plants & Animals
Swine Fever Threatens Critically Endangered Indian Hogs
AUG 06, 2020
Swine Fever Threatens Critically Endangered Indian Hogs
The Associated Press reports that the world's smallest and rarest wild pig species is undergoing its own virus lockd ...
SEP 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
What the Sun's New Weather Cycle Means for Earth
SEP 17, 2020
What the Sun's New Weather Cycle Means for Earth
Scientists have confirmed that the sun is nine months into a new solar cycle, and that this 11-year cycle will resemble ...
NOV 19, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Unlocking the Secret of a Tasty Cold Drink
NOV 19, 2020
Unlocking the Secret of a Tasty Cold Drink
Sour beer isn't for everyone: its unique taste of acidity and tartness could excite some but turn off others.  ...
Loading Comments...