It’s Okay to Swallow Your Chewing Gum

Our parents invented some pretty wild stories to prevent us from swallowing things we weren’t supposed to. Now that we’re older (and wiser), we know watermelon seeds won’t actually sprout a tree in our stomach. But what about the tales of gum sticking around in our digestive tract for years?

Source: What Really Happens When You Swallow Gum?

So where does the myth come from? Possibly from a real but rare phenomenon called a bezoar, a mass of undigested matter stuck in your stomach or intestines. If your cat hacks up hairballs, you know what I’m talking about. There is such a thing as a “chewing gum bezoar,” but it’s so rare that there have only been three cases reported in the medical literature—ever. Still – properly dispose of your gum, but that’s because swallowing it is gross, not because it’s unsafe.