Study Shows Chewing Gum Traps Harmful Bacteria

Posted on: January 26, 2015 | Blog

If you are like one of the many American adults not planning on visiting the dentist this year, the importance of good oral hygiene habits can not be understated. Regular dentist visits can potentially eliminate the chances you will ever need to visit an emergency dentist. You know twice daily brushing and flossing can help, but a new study reveals there is another simple way you can keep your mouth clean.

woman at dentist checkup

Chewing gum can help

Chewing gum is a great way to stimulate saliva production, which helps aid in the prevention of cavities. The study, published in the journal, PLoS one, has found that many versions of sugar-free chewing gum can help. Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands found that one piece of gum has the ability to kill up to 100 million germs. Although this adds up to be only about 10 percent of the total amount in human saliva, it is a step in the right direction.

About the study

Researchers had 5 graduate students chew two separate varieties of gum for a pre determined time anywhere from 10 seconds to 30 minutes. The researchers then used several different methods, including dissolving it in chemicals, to analyze the bacterial content in each piece.

woman chewing a piece of gum

According to their data, the additives in the chewing gum, xylitol, preservatives and flavoring agents, were able to entrap and kill the bacteria. Researchers found that more bacteria was absorbed the longer a subject chewed, but the effects maxed out at about 30 seconds.

Make sure you are still brushing

This study will be helpful in the further development of chewing gums with oral health benefits. It is important to remember each method of oral hygiene, brushing, flossing and chewing gum, are integral to maintaining a healthy mouth. Each of these methods is able to reach a different area, which means an overall healthier mouth.

woman brushing her teeth

To reap the bacteria obliterating benefits, make sure you are only chewing the sugar-free varieties. Regular gum leaves sugar deposits in your mouth, which actually has the opposite effect of the sugar-free type. In order to keep your mouth as clean and healthy as possible, remember than nothing can substitute regular care and dentist visits.

If you are experiencing pain or find yourself in need of a great emergency dentist, don’t hesitate to call Boston Dental Group. As your premier provider for emergency dental services, we are open seven days a week with extended hours. Call (702) 388-8888 for more information or to make an appointment today.