Most people empty their stomachs 30 to 120 minutes after eating, and that includes gum.
“The gum base is insoluble, just like the fiber base of raw vegetables, corn, popcorn kernels, and seeds,” says Dr. McGreal. “Our bodies do not possess digestive enzymes to specifically break down gum base.”
While it will stick readily to your shoe, gum does not stick to your stomach wall or intestinal tract. Instead of hanging around for years, gum simply travels the same path as food and is excreted in stool.
An exception to this would be people with gastroparesis, or paralyzed stomach, which can result in a buildup of food in the stomach.
But even in extreme cases, Dr. McGreal says it’s unlikely that gum would stay in the stomach for seven years. “In all the upper endoscopies I have done in both children and adults, I have yet to see a wad of gum lying around in the stomach,” she says.