Swallowing Chewing Gum Isn't Harmful (up to a point)

The answer to the post about whether swallowing chewing gum is harmful was spot on. It’s not. I’ve swallowed chewing gum all my life and can attest to that fact. My mother even took me to the dr. when I was a kid to ask about it, and he told her the same thing.

It’s indigestible, like parts of many things we eat. You know…that stuff called fiber that we’re supposed to ingest because it’s good for us?

Having said that, I will add that there is a point where it CAN present problems. One time I swallowed a LOT of gum while trying to quit smoking. I won’t go into detail, but suffice to say that I thought I would have to go to the hospital. So there is a limit to the amount of gum a person can safely swallow.

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Boards, honeycombe, we’re glad to have you with us. When you start a thread, it’s helpful to other readers if you provide a link to the column in question. Helps keep everyone on the same page, and saves lots of searching time. In this case, I assume, you’re commenting on: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/398/is-swallowing-chewing-gum-dangerous

No biggie, you’ll know for next time, and, as I say, welcome indeed! … and let’s hope you don’t swallow too much indigestible stuff in future! :slight_smile:

The problems comes with swallowing too much to close together. It can bind together in your stomach and make one piece that’s too big to pass.
I remember a few years ago there was a Christmas toy that came with lots of small round magnets. There were stories on the news about kids eating the magnets, and like the gum, the wasn’t really a problem if they ate one or two, the problem was when they ate 15 or 20 to make one big mass in their stomach.

The probem with swallowing multiple magnets was because they could stick to each other across folds of the intestines and cause problems.