A study in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene has revealed that herbal extracts and antimicrobial agents in sugarfree gum has the greatest positive effect on plaque indices.

The ingredients assessed were CHX, zinc gluconate, mastic, pycnogenol, funoran, eucalyptus, acacia, hydrogen peroxide, magnolia bark extra and urea were assessed in the experiment.

The researchers concluded that: ‘Most of the chewing gums with antimicrobial agents or herbal extracts were shown to have a positive effect with respect to plaque and gingivitis scores.’ In this instance, CHX provided the most compelling evidence to inhibit dental plaque and gingivitus.

CHX is an antiseptic antibacterial agent. The researchers performed a meta-analysis. 'The meta-analysis and the votecounting results of the individual studies indicate a beneficial effect on plaque inhibition.'

But due to the limitations of the systematic review, it was concluded that chewing sugar-free gum had no significant effect on gingivitus scores.

Other ingredients with positive effects on dental plaque were eucalyptus, acacia, funoran, pycnogenol and mastic. Urea and zinc gluconate had no substantial effect.

Visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1601-5037.2012.00562.x/abstract to read the complete study.