Is swallowing gum really dangerous? Is swallowing gum really dangerous?

Is swallowing gum really dangerous?

Is swallowing gum really dangerous?

Gum consists of a synthetic product called a gum base, which contains non-food ingredients, such as emulsifiers and laxatives, that cannot be digested, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

However, our bodies are able to digest some of the other ingredients added to gum, such as sweeteners.

Some experts warn against swallowing gum because it is difficult to digest, especially with the absence of enzymes needed to digest some of the products found in the gum.

Is there any danger in swallowing gum?

"If it's one or two pieces of gum, chances are nothing untoward or negative is going to happen to someone," said Dr. Nancy McGrail, a gastroenterologist at Duke University Medical Center.

Swallowing small amounts of gum shouldn't cause a problem, but large amounts may lead to "vomiting, constipation, flatulence, pain or changes in bowel habits," according to the Illinois Poison Management Center.

However, swallowing gum can cause intestinal obstruction in rare cases, especially if a person eats too much of it at once, according to Julia Zumpano, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Center for Human Nutrition in Ohio.

In addition, swallowing too much sorbitol, a sugar alcohol often found in sugar-free gum, can cause digestive problems, especially diarrhea, because it pulls water into the intestines, McGrail said.

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