A number of studies have shown that the sugar-free varieties can promote oral health. Though the benefits of chewing gum are still a subject to debate. Though a recent review has found some evidence that chewing sugar-free gum could help to reduce the development of dental caries.
Recently, researchers from King’s College London conducted a systematic review. They analysed 12 studies published over the last 50 years. In these studies, they identified the impact on oral health and the intervention outcomes of chewing sugar-free gum.
The research team found that chewing sugar-free gum reduces the incidence of dental caries by 28%. It could also be used as a possible preventive agent by combining oral health education with supervised tooth brushing initiatives. However, the researchers also clarified that their findings were far from definitive for a number of reasons.
“There is a considerable degree of variability in the effect from the published data and the trials included were generally of moderate quality,” explained lead author Dr Avijit Banerjee, Professor of Cariology and Operative Dentistry at King’s College London.
There was a definite need to update and refresh existing knowledge about sugar-free gum and its effect on dental caries and oral health, says Professor of Cariology and Operative Dentistry
“However, we felt there was a definite need to update and refresh existing knowledge about sugar-free gum and its effect on dental caries and oral health. We are planning further research to determine the acceptability and feasibility of using this method in public health,” Banerjee continued.
Previous studies have shown that chewing gum can increase the level of certain vitamins in blood plasma, as reported last year by Dental Tribune International. The specific relationship between the development of dental caries and chewing sugar-free gum had not previously been explored, according to Banerjee.
The study, titled “A systematic review and meta-analysis of the role of sugar-free chewing gum in dental caries”, was published in the Journal of Dental Research: Clinical and Translational Research.