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Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2001 Jul;22(7A):4-12.

An evaluation of sodium bicarbonate chewing gum in reducing dental plaque and gingivitis in conjunction with regular toothbrushing.

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Health Science Research Center, School of Health Sciences, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA.


The purpose of the present study was to determine the ability of a chewing gum containing 5% sodium bicarbonate to remove dental plaque and reduce gingivitis when used as a supplement to daily toothbrushing. The study group consisted of 88 adults with moderate gingivitis. Participants were divided into 4 groups and instructed to chew the study gum 0 (control), 1, 2, or 3 times daily for 1 month in addition to regular daily toothbrushing. Chewing sodium bicarbonate-containing gum significantly (P < .05) reduced plaque after 1 week, with progressively greater reductions occurring after 2 and 4 weeks of gum chewing. No correlation was observed between plaque reduction and the number of times per day that the gum was chewed. By week 4, plaque reduction of approximately 16% was achieved in all groups using the gum as compared with the control group. Reductions in gingivitis were observed in all participants who chewed the gum, and these reductions achieved statistical significance by week 4. Slightly greater improvements in gingivitis were achieved in participants who chewed the gum 2 or 3 times daily as compared with the control group and those who chewed the gum once daily. No adverse effects on the oral tissues were observed in any of the participants for the duration of the study. In conclusion, regular use of a chewing gum containing 5% sodium bicarbonate appears safe and effective for the removal of dental plaque and reduction of gingivitis when used in conjunction with daily toothbrushing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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