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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Is it safe to swallow a chewing gum ?

I want an honest answer and not one to scare me.I swallowed a piece of chewing gum lying down on my side.Why was it difficult to swallow this chewing gum lying down on my side?.Is it okay to swallow chewing gum or any other gum lying down?. I am a 45 year old male.I have always had good health.I don t have any allergies and I ve never taken any drugs.I am not taking any medication.
Mon, 30 Jan 2012
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ENT Specialist 's  Response
1. There is no harm due to an occasional, accidental swallowing of chewing gum. The swallowed chewing gum will pass through indigested. A small amount of chewing gum is not likely to cause any obstruction anywhere in the gut of an adult.

2. Swallowing is a complex process and it is difficult for everyone to swallow while lying down on one side. In this position it is difficult for the epiglottis to guide the food bolus through the pyriform fossa and away from the larynx (vocal folds and windpipe). If you also turn your head to one side while lying down on your side, it makes swallowing even more difficult.
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