Chewing gum bezoars of the gastrointestinal tract.
“Children have chewed gum since the Stone Age. Black lumps of prehistoric tar with human tooth impressions have been found in Northern Europe dating from approximately 7000 BC (Middle Stone Age) to 2000 BC (Bronze Age). The bite impressions suggest that most chewers were between 6 and 15 years of age. The Greeks chewed resin from the mastic tree (mastic gum). North American Indians chewed spruce gum… Despite the history and prevalence of gum chewing, the medical literature contains very little information about the adverse effects of chewing gum. In the present report, we briefly review gum-chewing complications and describe three children who developed intestinal tract and esophageal obstruction as a consequence of swallowing gum.”