Is chewing gum harmful? Effects on human health

We’ve all chewed gum at some point in our lives. For many of us, chewing gum is a great way to get some relief at the end of a stressful day or just to give our mouth a fresh feeling. However, some people decide to swallow the gum instead of chewing it. This habit is in the minds of many people: “Is chewing gum harmful?” begs the question. We have prepared a detailed article about the disadvantages of chewing gum for you.

5 different disadvantages of swallowing gum for human health

While chewing gum is a common habit for many, it carries some health risks. Here are the potential downsides of chewing gum:

1. Affects the digestive system

Chewing gum is difficult to digest and can stick to the stomach, preventing the digestive juices from working properly. This can cause abdominal pain, bloating, gas and even constipation.

2. Causes breathing problems

Swallowing gum can block the airways. Young children and the elderly are particularly at risk. If chewing gum enters the airways, a serious danger can arise and immediate action may be required.

3. Creates a choking hazard

Swallowing gum can increase the risk of choking. Swallowed gum can get stuck in the throat or airways and interfere with breathing. This poses a serious danger, especially to young children and teenagers.

4. Oral hygiene and dental problems

Chewing gum consumption can negatively affect oral hygiene. The sugar content of the gums can cause tooth decay and can also damage tooth enamel.

5. It has a bad effect on your stomach

Because the gum has a sticky texture, it can upset the balance in the stomach. If you swallow the gum, it can change the acid balance in the stomach.

Swallowing gum during pregnancy

Is chewing gum harmful?

Many pregnant women wonder what causes chewing gum during this period. The consequences of swallowing a single gum during pregnancy are similar to the above. However, chewing gum that contains artificial sweeteners and flavors can be harmful to the baby and mother. Some flavors in particular create special situations.

For example, cinnamon can cause mouth sores or ulcers, while licorice root can cause high blood pressure and those with sorbitol can cause diarrhea. Whether or not the chewing gum contains these substances is stated on the product label, so it is recommended not to swallow gum.

Sugar-free gum is not recommended for pregnant women because they contain aspartame or sucralose, which are believed to have potential side effects. Swallowed gum is excreted by the body within 72 hours. Chewing gum certainly doesn’t stay in your body for 7 years. However, swallowing large amounts of gum can be dangerous and caution is advised.

Is it safe to swallow gum?

Is chewing gum harmful?

While chewing gum is generally not considered harmful, it can carry some risks. Chewing gum is a food that should normally be disposed of with the saliva after chewing. However, some people make a habit of swallowing gum. So, is it really safe to swallow gum?

The contents of the chewing gum usually contain polymeric ingredients and sweeteners that make chewing easier. Many of these are indigestible to the human body and therefore cannot be processed by the digestive system. However, swallowing gum a few times is usually harmless. Since chewing gum is a substance that is easily excreted by the digestive system, it can be safely swallowed by many people.

However, excessive gum chewing can pose some health risks. Swallowing gum is riskier, especially for young children, the elderly and people with breathing problems. Young children can be at serious risk of swallowing gum that chokes their throats or enters their airways. The elderly can also experience digestive problems because swallowed gum sticks to the stomach or is difficult to digest.

What’s in chewing gum?

Is chewing gum harmful?

The ingredients in the gum may vary by brand, but generally contain the following ingredients:


Sweeteners are added to improve the flavor of the gum. Sweeteners such as maltilol, xylitol, and sorbitol, known as sugar alcohols, are commonly used.


Flavors are added that provide the different flavors and smells of the chewing gum. Mint, cinnamon, fruit, menthol and similar flavors are commonly used.


Some chewing gum may contain dyes. These substances change the color of the gums, but can cause health problems.


Some gum may contain preservatives to increase freshness and shelf life. These substances can be different chemicals.

Some of these substances in the contents of chewing gum may pose a health risk. For example, some sweeteners can cause cavities, while some dyes can cause allergic reactions. However, it should be noted that these substances are considered legal for use in chewing gum and are generally consumed in small amounts.

With regard to chewing gum, although the ingredients in the chewing gum are thought to remain in the digestive tract, it is generally harmless and is excreted by the digestive system. However, excessive consumption and intake of chewing gum can cause health problems. Therefore, it is important not to overdo it when consuming chewing gum.

What happens if I swallow gum?

Swallowing gum can slow down movement in your digestive tract. Also, swallowing too much gum can form a lump in the stomach, which can cause stomach pain and even vomiting.

Does chewing and swallowing gum affect my teeth?

Chewing gum can make your teeth stronger, but chewing too much can cause enamel to erode and damage your teeth. Also, swallowing gum can increase the risk of tooth decay.

How many days does chewing gum stay in my digestive system after swallowing?

Swallowing gum can remain in your digestive system for several days, but your body cannot digest these materials and they are eliminated from your digestive system.

Can I eat or drink after swallowing gum?

Yes, you can eat and drink after swallowing gum. If the amount of gum you swallow is not too much, you can eat and drink normally.

What can I do to avoid swallowing gum?

Chewing gum is the best option. Instead of keeping the gum in your mouth for a long time, also chew it for a few minutes and then throw it away.

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