Swallowed Gum

swallowed gum

One old wives’ tale says that swallowed gum will remain in a human’s stomach for up to 7 years. According to several medical opinions, there seems to be little truth behind the tale. In most cases, swallowed gum will pass through the system as fast as any other food.

There have been a few cases where swallowing gum has required medical attention, but these cases are more or less related to chronic gum swallowers. One young boy swallowed several pieces each day and had to be hospitalized, and a young girl required medical attention when she swallowed her gum and four coins, which got stuck together in her esophagus. A bezoar (a mass trapped in the gastrointestinal system) is formed in the stomach when food or other foreign objects stick to gum and build up, causing intestinal blockage.

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