Chewing gum used to be the resin (gum) from a tropical tree (Chicle). From this word comes “chiclets”. Nowadays, chewing gum is made mostly from a polymer (plastic). A common type is polyvinyl acetate. It is inert, does not change with chewing, and even if you swallow it, it too, will come to pass in time. (It could even be recycled if you were sufficiently frugal!). The coatings used to be flavoured sugar, but these days are usually a synthetic sweetener. Short answer, aside from too much sugar (in earlier types) nothing has been shown to be harmful.
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