2 young women with sunglasses smile while one blows a gum bubble

Is It Bad to Swallow Chewing Gum?

November 1, 2022 12:29 am

It’s easy to swallow a piece of chewing gum when chewing to freshen your breath or to curb a food craving. But if this happens, don’t panic! It’s a myth that gum stays in your stomach for seven years. In general, it’ll be OK if you swallow your chewing gum.

Chewing Gum for Your Oral Health

Did you know that chewing gum can offer some oral health benefits? Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s beneficial to chew an abundance of Hubba Bubba gum or Juicy Fruit gum. But chewing sugar-free gum offers the following benefits for oral health:

  • Increased saliva production
  • Decreased risk of tooth decay
  • Less likelihood of dry mouth
  • Reduced bad breath

Swallowing Chewing Gum

It’s possible to swallow chewing gum at some point in your life. The occasional swallow should not cause problems.

Gum is typically made up of the gum itself, preservatives, and flavoring. While the digestive system cannot break down the gum base, it won’t stay in the stomach indefinitely. It’ll just take some time to leave your system via a bowel movement.

Children are more likely to swallow chewing gum by accident as they learn the difference between gum and candy. If you’re with a young child that is chewing a piece of gum or would like gum, remind them not to swallow! It’s best to keep gum away from them until they understand this to avoid digestive upset.

The Best Kind of Gum for Your Teeth

Sugar-free gum is the best kind of gum for your teeth. This gum does not contain sugar, so it cannot cause cavities. Sugar-free gum can easily be spotted by looking for the American Dental Association seal approval. Next time you want something to chew, choose sugar-free and avoid swallowing! However, we recommend avoiding chewing gum if you experience pain, clicking, popping, clicking, or locking in your jaw.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Houston, TX

At The Smile Club Dentistry and Orthodontics, our team strives to educate patients about their oral and overall health. If you have questions concerning your teeth and gums, please get in touch with our team. We’ll be happy to help!

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