Chewing gum

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Made from either natural latex or synthetic rubber. Mixed in with flavourings, sugars (e.g. xylitol or sorbitol) and/or artificial sweeteners. In large quantities, these synthetic sugars can cause chronic diarrhoea.[1]

The use of chewing gum prior to general anaesthesia is regarded as some as the equivalent of having consumed clear fluids and may require, in the elective setting, 2 hours to allow stomach emptying prior to intubation.

Chewing gum has been used as a potential method of stimulating the gut in post-operative ileus.[2]

In Parkinson's disease it has long been recommended to those with excess dribbling of saliva and is now known to both increase the frequency and decreased the latency of swallowing[3].