Your mom probably told you growing up that if you swallow your gum it will stay inside your stomach for seven years. An even scarier tale it that swallowed gum can wrap itself around your heart!
1But what actually happens if you accidentally swallow a piece of chewing gum?
2Up until WWII, chewing gum was made of a substance called chicle mixed with flavorings. Chicle is a latex sap that comes from the sapodilla tree (native to Central America). Chicle is a form of rubber that doesn’t dissolve when you chew it.
After WWII, chemists learned how to make artificial gum bases to replace chicle. These gum bases are essentially synthetic rubbers that have the same gum bases (either natural or artificial) are mixed with sugar and other flavorings to make chewing gum. When you chew it, the rubber releases these flavorings into your mouth.