It’s a legendary piece of playground lore: If you swallow a piece of gum, it stays stuck in your stomach forever. So was your elementary-school buddy right? You might have heard that swallowed gum stays in your stomach for 7 years. That’s not true.
Though your stomach can’t break down a piece of gum the same way it breaks down other food, your digestive system can move it along through normal intestinal activity. Swallowing a large mass of gum, or many small pieces of gum over a short period of time, can block the digestive tract in rare cases.
Chewing gum is made of either natural or synthetic materials (gum resin), preservatives, flavorings, and sweeteners.
The body can absorb sweeteners, such as sugar, and they can add up to a lot of calories if you chew a lot of sugary gum.
But the human digestive tract can’t digest the gum resin. It’s moved through the digestive tract by the normal pushing (peristaltic) actions of the gut. The gum’s journey ends during a trip to the bathroom.