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Int J Dent Hyg. 2013 Feb;11(1):2-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-5037.2012.00562.x. Epub 2012 Jun 30.

The effect of sugar-free chewing gum on plaque and clinical parameters of gingival inflammation: a systematic review.

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  • 1Department of Periodontology, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to systematically review the current literature on the clinical effects of sugar-free chewing gum on plaque indices and parameters of gingival inflammation.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

The MEDLINE-PubMed, Cochrane-CENTRAL and EMBASE databases were searched up to 20 April 2012 to identify any appropriate studies. Plaque indices and parameters of gingival inflammation were selected as outcome variables.

RESULTS:

An independent screening of the 594 unique titles and abstracts identified six non-brushing and four brushing studies that met the eligibility criteria. In the non-brushing studies, the use of chewing gum did not significantly affect the parameters of interest. In the descriptive analysis of the brushing studies, four of five comparisons showed a statistically significant effect in favour of the sugar-free chewing gum with respect to plaque scores. The meta-analysis for the Quigley & Hein (J Am Dent Assoc 1962; 65: 26) plaque index scores in the brushing studies also showed a significant difference (DiffM -0.24, 95% CI [-0.41; -0.08]). For bleeding tendency, the descriptive analysis showed that one of the two comparisons identified a significant difference in favour of chewing gum. The meta-analysis, however, did not substantiate this difference.

CONCLUSION:

Within the limitations of this systematic review, it may be concluded that the use of sugar-free chewing gum as an adjunct to toothbrushing provides a small but significant reduction in plaque scores. Chewing sugar-free gum showed no significant effect on gingivitis scores. In the absence of brushing, no effect on plaque and gingivitis scores could be established.

© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

PMID:
22747775
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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