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I think your mother’s warnings probably stemmed from the idea that chewing stimulates not just saliva in the mouth but also acid secretion in the stomach.
In theory at least this can be bad, as excess acid secretion in combination with pockets of damage to the stomach lining may lead to an ulcer.
However I would suggest that for a young, fit and healthy 11 year old child this would be nothing to worry about.
In fact as long as the gum is sugar free (and particularly if it contains xylitol) it is actually good for the teeth and can prevent dental cavities.
However some moderation is necessary whichever type of gum he is eating. I’d suggest you limit it to one or two chewing gum sessions a day after meals.
Too much sugared gum obviously isn’t a good idea for teeth (though better than normal sweets) whereas too much sugar-fee gum can cause diarrhoea and flatulence because of the type of artificial sweetener used.