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Vacation Quick Fix – Chewing Gum

added on: April 3, 2017


Although consumers may be used to thinking about chewing gum as a kind of candy, this category of the ADA Seal recognizes chewing gum that has demonstrated scientifically that it can protect the teeth.  Gum chewing can be a quick fix when travelling or just short on time.  Dr. Briscoe and the team at Briscoe Dentistry say yes! But only occasionally.  Brushing and flossing are still the preferred methods for patient home care.


Chewing gum in various forms has been around since ancient times when it was derived from tree saps; today, the base used for most gum products is a blend of synthetic materials (elastomers, resins and waxes in various proportions).
The physical act of chewing increases salivary flow in the mouth; if chewed after eating, the increased salivary flow can help neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on teeth.  “The recent study by Wessel et al.1 provides some preliminary insight about methods for evaluating the capacity of chewing gum to sequester bacteria from the oral cavity. The data presented suggest that the two evaluated chewing gums, both of which were described as being ‘commercially available spearmint gum’ with sorbitol, gum base and glycerin listed as the first three ingredients, trapped bacteria when chewed.”*

*Wessel SW, van der Mei HC, Morando D, et al. Quantification and qualification of bacteria trapped in chewed gum. PLoS One 2015;10(1):e0117191.

A company earns the ADA Seal of Acceptance by producing scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of its product, which the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates according to objective requirements.