chewing gum could help improve oral healthUsing sugar-free chewing gum could reduce dental caries and improve our oral health, Wrigley says.

Its latest study claims chewing gum is better for our oral health than education and supervised tooth brushing alone.

The study compared levels of dental caries in adults and children.

It compared those who use sugar-free chewing gum and those who use alternatives such as lozenges, candies, rinses and tablets.

‘This new King’s College London study reinforces the important role sugar-free chewing gum can play in improving oral health for people around the world,’ Dr Mike Dodds, lead oral health scientist at Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program, said.

‘It is important we look beyond brushing alone to find additional ways to protect our teeth and mouth.

‘Now is not the time to be complacent.

‘Research is continuing to show us the connections between oral and general health and wellbeing.

‘This study is a timely reminder of the role sugar-free chewing gum can play in helping improve dental health.

‘It also highlights the possible acceptability and feasibility of the use of sugar-free chewing gum as an effective public health intervention.’

Positive impacts from sugar-free chewing gum

Despite progress in recent years, dental caries remains a serious public health concern.

For example, tooth decay is the most significant condition affecting children across the world today.

Previous research has shown traditional educational actions in schools has little long-term benefit, Wrigley claims.

‘While we have made great strides in some areas of oral care, dental caries continues to have a huge economic, social and societal impact on people, particularly in developing countries,’ Dr Avijit Banerjee, professor of cariology and operative dentistry, King’s College London and study lead investigator, said.

‘Our study highlights the significant positive impact using sugar-free gum can have on reducing dental decay.

‘The results should serve as an important reminder of the important role sugar-free chewing gum can play in reducing the economic, societal and health burden of poor oral health.’

Economic benefits

Using one additional piece of suger-free chewing gum each day could save $4.1 billion in savings worldwide, Wrigley claims.

It also says chewing sugar-free gum is a way to reach out to and improve younger populations’ oral health.