Who among us has not heard in childhood horror stories about swallowed chewing gum and what terrible consequences accidental or deliberate swallowing is fraught with. And it was always interesting what actually happens to the chewing gum and to the one who ate it.
A rare child has not swallowed gum at least once in his life, doing it partly out of curiosity, because he was repeatedly warned that something terrible would happen after that. Or unusual. Or nothing will happen at all. In general, we can say that after swallowing one gum, you should not expect any dire consequences. The chewing gum simply passes through and out of the gastrointestinal tract naturally.
Her journey begins in the mouth, where she chews her teeth for a long time and stubbornly, constantly washing herself with the saliva produced in the process. It can last for several minutes, hours, and for some particularly stubborn people and days. When swallowed, the gum enters the esophagus, which moves it in a wave-like motion towards the stomach.
Once in the stomach, it is immediately attacked by gastric juice, which is a concentrated acid solution. The juice will try to dissolve the gum, but it will fail.
Virtually unharmed, she will continue her journey through the intestinal tract. Since there are no nutrients in it, the body will envelop it in gruel and direct it to the exit, like unnecessary ballast.
But even in such a simple scenario, failures can occur.
In both young children and adults, swallowing gum can lead to aspiration - the ingestion of parts of the gum into the airways. This is very likely if you give menthol chewing gum to a small child who, frightened by the sharp taste, swallows a pillow or plate that has not yet been chewed.
Too large a lump can get stuck in the intestinal fold or completely block the intestinal lumen. Make sure to spit out the old gum before giving your child a new gum. If you think that he is swallowing them, observe him in the following days, and in case of complaints of abdominal pain, immediately consult a doctor, telling him about what happened.