Other gastrointestinal health

What Really Happens if I Swallow Chewing Gum

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 20, 2017
What Really Happens if I Swallow Chewing Gum

When you swallow gum you immediately feel alarmed: what happens now? There are endless myths and legends about whether gum sticks to the stomach or wanders down your organs for seven years, but are they true? Is it really that bad?

What actually happens when you swallow chewing gum? At OneHowTo we want to answer your questions and put these myths to rest, so we explain what happens if you swallow chewing gum.

You may also be interested in: How to Prevent Gas or Flatulence

Steps to follow:


The ingredients found in gum are typically sweeteners, syrups, gum resin, flavorings, emulsifiers, etc. Some of these substances are digestible to the human body, while others may not be, but they can all pass through the digestive system and be excreted.


So when you swallow gum accidentally, it reaches the stomach as any food would. The stomach then tries to digest it as if it were food. When it fails, the gum will simply continue to move through the intestinal tract, as do the many foods that the body is not able to digest, until it is expelled in the faeces.


From this you can deduce that if you swallow gum, it will not stay glued to the walls of your stomach or bowels as some myths imply. Nor will it continue travelling through your guts for years, but within a day or two it will be expelled, just like the different types of fibre that your digestive cannot process.

What Really Happens if I Swallow Chewing Gum - Step 3

Having said all this, it is still important not to swallow gum if you can avoid it. This is because a build-up of lots of gum in a short space of time - or a particularly large piece of gum - could cause problems for the digestive system and could require medical or surgical intervention to remove.


In conclusion, nothing bad happens if you accidentally swallow a piece of chewing gum!

So rest assured, and forget all those urban legends made to frighten children!

For more articles about stomach-related issues click here.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Really Happens if I Swallow Chewing Gum, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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1 comment
I wonder if swallowing two pieces of gum at once will be a problem 🤔
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Noah,

It certainly can be as it provides a choking hazard. You shouldn't swallow any gum.
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What Really Happens if I Swallow Chewing Gum