Why Is A Stick Of Gum Like A Sneeze?

A stick of gum and a sneeze may seem like two completely unrelated things, but there is actually a scientific explanation behind why they share some similarities. In this article, we will delve into the various reasons why a stick of gum is like a sneeze, from their physiological effects to their social implications.

Physiological Effects

One of the most obvious similarities between a stick of gum and a sneeze is the physical response that they both elicit from the body. When you chew gum, you activate the muscles in your jaw and mouth, which in turn sends signals to your brain that you are eating. This activates your digestive system and increases blood flow to the mouth and stomach.

Similarly, when you sneeze, you also activate a series of muscles in your body. The sudden and forceful expulsion of air through your nose and mouth causes your diaphragm, chest muscles, and abdominal muscles to contract. This can also increase blood flow to the head and neck.

Both gum chewing and sneezing can also stimulate the production of saliva and mucus. When you chew gum, the act of chewing triggers the salivary glands in your mouth to produce more saliva, which helps to break down food and aid in digestion. Similarly, when you sneeze, the lining of your nose and throat produces mucus, which helps to trap and eliminate foreign particles and irritants.

Social Implications

While the physiological effects of gum chewing and sneezing may be similar, the social implications of these behaviors can be quite different. Chewing gum is often seen as a harmless and even enjoyable habit, while sneezing can be perceived as rude or even a health hazard in certain situations.

For example, if you are in a quiet room or public space and you start chewing gum loudly or with your mouth open, you may be seen as inconsiderate or annoying. On the other hand, if you sneeze loudly without covering your nose and mouth, you risk spreading germs and potentially infecting others with cold or flu viruses.

However, both gum chewing and sneezing can also have positive social effects. Chewing gum can help to freshen your breath and improve your oral hygiene, which can be important in social situations. Similarly, sneezing can be a sign of good health and a normal bodily function, which can signal to others that you are not sick or contagious.


In conclusion, while a stick of gum and a sneeze may seem like two unrelated things, they actually share some interesting similarities. From their physiological effects to their social implications, gum chewing and sneezing are both complex behaviors that have been studied extensively by scientists and psychologists. Understanding the connections between these seemingly unrelated behaviors can help us to better understand the human body and the ways in which we interact with each other.

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