You most likely have a habit of chewing gum quite often. It might feel like a good practice, since it can make your mouth feel fresher and your teeth feel cleaner. However, if you tend to chew gum late at night, you might wonder if you should spit it out before falling asleep, or if you can just sleep with the gum in your mouth?
So would it be ok to sleep with a gum in your mouth?
No, you should never go to sleep with a gum in your mouth! First, it may be dangerous; in the worst case, you might even choke on the gum if you fall asleep with gum in your mouth. Even if nothing so serious happens, the gum might fall out of your mouth, on your bed or on your pillow, and get stuck there. The gum could also get stuck in your hair, and getting gum out of your hair may be a real pain and take a really long time.
To find even more specific reasons not to sleep with a piece of gum in your mouth, read on and see why it is so important to take this issue seriously.
Is It Bad to Chew Gum at Night?
If you can make sure that you spit out the gum before you fall asleep, then it might be ok.
Overall, chewing gum is not bad for you, if you chew it in moderation. However, a habit of chewing the gum at night just before going to sleep may increase the risk that of falling asleep the gum in your mouth.
Therefore, you have to make sure that you won’t fall asleep with the gum in your mouth.
How, then, can you do that?
Simply, don’t go to bed if you have a gum in your mouth!
If you are already in bed with a gum in your mouth, take it out right away and put it in the trash!
The risk of falling with the gum in your mouth is relatively high, especially if you are exhausted. Furthermore, it is possible that you forget to take gum out from your mouth if you don’t do it right away.
But why is it so important not to sleep with the gum in your mouth?
Let’s find out:
What Happens If You Sleep With a Gum in Your Mouth?
The worst thing that could possibly happen is choking on the gum.
So this surely is a serious issue, and that is why you absolutely want to avoid falling asleep with gum in your mouth.
Read on to the next subtitle, to find out more about this risk.
It is crucial to make sure that you or your children don’t fall asleep with gum in your mouth.
Other than that, there is a chance that if you would fall asleep with a piece of gum in your mouth, it might fall out of your mouth and get stuck on the bed sheets or even in your hair.
There are multiple stories about such a thing happening to someone, and getting the gum out of the sheets, or even worse, out of your hair, may be a very frustrating task.
Can You Really Choke on Chewing Gum in Your Sleep?
Unfortunately, it is possible.
Here is just one example of a true story highlighting this danger:
A news story from a few years ago tells that a basketball player likely died from chewing gum in sleep.
In this specific case, the basketball player likely “aspirated the chewing gum while sleeping.” So we can see that this case is a very serious warning.
You should always make sure that you won’t fall asleep with a chewing gum in your mouth.
Even though it was said, regarding this case, that “death by choking on chewing gum is rare”, the risk is does exist. That’s why it would be better to make all efforts to not fall asleep with a chewing gum in your mouth.
How to Not Fall Asleep With a Gum in Your Mouth?
Here are four tips that might help you to avoid falling asleep with a chewing gum in your mouth:
1. Set a Reminder
If you know that you have a habit of going to bed with the gum in your mouth, you could p’’set a reminder for yourself, so that you remember to spit the gum out before bed.
The reminder could be, for instance:
A sign, such as a piece of paper with a text reminding you. You could set this on your night desk or in any other clearly visible place.
Another option is to set an alarm. For example, you could set the alarm on your phone to remind you just before bedtime. The alarm can help you to remember to get rid of the gum before you fall asleep. The alarm may also help you to go to bed on time, if you wish so.
2. Place a Trash Can Next to Your Bed
The main problem might be that you already went to bed with the chewing gum in your mouth, and you are so tired that you don’t want to get out of the bed to throw the gum to the trash.
Therefore, you might want to place the trash can next to your bed, so that you can easily put the gum in there if you forgot to throw it out earlier.
Placing the gum in a random place, such as on your bedside table, might not be the best thing to do, since the gum might stick on the surface and be hard to remove. But if there are no other options, that would be still be better than falling asleep with the gum in your mouth.
Swallowing the gum is not an ideal option either, as you will see later on this post.
3. Train Yourself
You can train yourself by limiting the use of the gum. For instance, if you have a habit of chewing gum all day, you could set a time limit, so that you would not continue chewing the gum late in the evening. This way, throwing out the gum before going to bed will become a habit.
Furthermore, you will likely brush your teeth before bed. If you have a habit of chewing more gum after brushing your teeth, you could consider stopping that habit.
4. Remember Why It Is so Important
Reminding yourself that there is real danger related to sleeping with the gum in your mouth can help you remember this issue.
When you remember why it’s important, and you keep the warning examples in mind, you are more likely not to forget to throw out the gum before going to sleep.
How Does Gum Get in Your Hair, Pillowcase or Sheets When You Sleep?
In case you found the gum in your hair, pillowcase or bed sheets, you much likely have been sleeping with your mouth open. If you have chewing gum in your mouth while you sleep, you probably end up opening your mouth at some point, and the gum may fall off from your mouth and end up straight on your hair.
Similarly, just as the gum might get in your hair while you sleep, it might also stick to your pillowcase or sheets when you sleep.
It is because you much likely sleep with your mouth open, at least for some time during the night. Especially, if you sleep on your side and your face and mouth area is very relaxed, the gum will likely fall out of your mouth.
But as mentioned earlier, it is highly recommended to never sleep with chewing gum in your mouth!
However, if you woke up with the gum in your hair, how can you get rid of it?
How to Remove Chewing Gum From My Hair?
There are a few easy options to get the gum out of your hair. You could use, for instance, peanut butter, cooking oils, ice cubes or vinegar to remove chewing gum from your hair.
Here we have some good advice on how to get the gum out of your hair quickly with peanut butter:
How to Remove Chewing Gum From Pillowcase or Sheets?
As you know, chewing gum is very sticky, but luckily removing it from your pillowcase or sheets might not be too hard to do.
The best options are to place the pillowcase or bed sheets in the freezer for a couple of hours or to use hot vinegar to remove the gum.
Here’s what you could do:
1. Place your bed sheet or pillowcase in the freezer, and let it stay there for a couple of hours
2. Rip as much of the gum as you can gently from the fabric; you may use a blunt knife to make the job easier
3. Use a dry-cleaning solvent to clean rest of the stain
4. Wash the cloth normally
What Happens If You Swallow Gum Before Falling Asleep?
First of all, it is not recommended to swallow gum.
However, if you have already done it, what you can expect is that “a piece of swallowed gum will usually pass through your digestive system — basically intact — and come out in your stool about 40 hours later, just like almost everything else you eat.”
However, if you or your child has swallowed a large amount of gum, it may be better to seek guidance from a healthcare practitioner.
What Happens If You Swallow Gum While Pregnant?
Much likely nothing special, compared to swallowing a gum when you are not pregnatn. If you swallowed just a one piece of gum, “there’s probably no reason to see a doctor.”
On the other hand, you might wonder if it can cause any harm to your baby if you swallowed chewing gum. There is no evidence of that.