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Odontostomatol Trop. 1999 Sep;22(87):13-8.

Effect of two common Nigerian chewing sticks on gingival health and oral hygiene.

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Department of Preventive Dentistry, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan.


This study was conducted with the objective of assessing the effect on gingival health and oral hygiene of two chewing sticks, commonly used in a Yoruba community in Nigeria. Sixty, 12-year old primary school pupils participated in the study. After baseline data were collected on the status of oral hygiene and gingival health, complete prophylaxis was carried out on all the children. They were then divided into three groups to which toothbrushes, Pako Ijebu (Massularia acuminata) and Orin Ayan (Distemonanthus benthamianus) were assigned. They received instructions and supervision appropriate to the implement they were provided with. At the expiration of the six weeks intervention period, post-intervention readings were taken. There was no significant difference in the oral hygiene status between those using the toothbrush and those using the chewing sticks. Slight improvements were detected in the gingival status of those using the chewing sticks relative to those in the group using toothbrush. The best score was recorded among those using the Orin Ayan (D. Benthamianus). These differences were however not statistically significant. Even though an association between gingival health and use of these chewing sticks could not be drawn, it is suggested that further studies be conducted in this area.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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