Maybe you are a fan of gum. Chewing gum can accompany you whenever you work or play, even when you are alone. You can also use chewing gum to relieve your tension in public. Some people may be helped by chewing gum in certain situations. However, be careful not to swallow gum because there are several things that can happen.
What if I swallow gum?
You may often hear that swallowed gum will accumulate in your stomach and can't get out. Your parents or some people closest to you may often say that to you from childhood so you don't swallow gum. But, actually, where does gum go after being swallowed? Will it accumulate in the body?
When you eat, your body actually starts digesting the food through a mechanical process in the mouth, which is chewing. Then the enzymes or proteins contained in your saliva and stomach help break down the nutrients in these foods. Furthermore, the acid in your stomach converts the remaining food that cannot be absorbed by the body into pulp, so that the rest of the food can pass through the intestine and eventually discharged through the anus.
However, it's different from gum that your body can't digest. This is because gum contains natural gum or synthetic gum ingredients. Butyl rubber is synthetic rubber commonly used to make gum. Natural and synthetic rubber sap cannot be broken down, so that it cannot be digested by your body.
When you chew gum, enzymes in your saliva will break down carbohydrates and oils contained in gum. However, the rubber content of gum is immune to this enzyme, so gum cannot be broken down and digested. Even stomach acid cannot break down and digest this rubber.
So, when you swallow gum, the whole form of gum will move through your digestive tract, through the esophagus, stomach, then into the intestine to join the feces, and finally the gum is removed outside the body through the anus. However, the process of swallowing chewing gum out of your body may take several days, maybe one day, two days, or even three days.
The good news is that gum can get out of your body after a few days. However, bad things can happen to you. In very rare cases, gum swallowed while you are also experiencing constipation can clog your intestines, especially if you swallow gum too often. This can make it harder for you to defecate. For that, try not to swallow gum. Basically, gum is indeed designed not to be swallowed, only chewed.
What if a child swallows gum?
Just like adults, chewing gum swallowed by small children can get out of the body. However, it's best to introduce a small child to chewing gum when he is old enough. You can give a child a gum when he understands that gum cannot be swallowed. Usually a small child can understand this when he is 5 years old.
One more thing that you should also do is not to give small children gum too often because gum can cause more problems in young children. Chewing gum can cause small children to choke. In addition, the sugar contained in gum can also cause tooth decay in children. Sugar can also add calories consumed by children. Sugar-free gum also usually contains sorbitol which can also cause diarrhea in children.
Once a child is given gum, usually he will ask for it again and again. Therefore, you should limit the administration of gum to children, at least no more than one or two pieces a day. Always remind your child to throw away gum after chewing it, not swallow it.
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