Comparison of the effect of two sugar-substituted chewing gums on different caries- and gingivitis-related variables: a double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial
The aim of this study was to compare the effect of two sugar-substituted chewing gums besides toothbrushing on different clinical, microbiological, and biochemical caries- and gingivitis-related variables.
Materials and methods
The study was designed as a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial with three parallel arms. A total of 130 dental students, who volunteered after signing an informed consent, were randomly allocated to receive one of the following interventions: hexitol-sweetened gum containing casein phosphopeptide–amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP), pentitol-sweetened gum containing no CPP-ACP, and control group with no gum. Subjects within the experimental groups chewed two gum pellets for 20 min three times a day after meals. The daily consumption level of both polyols was 6.0 g. Clinical examinations and salivary samplings were conducted at baseline and after 30 days of gum use. Pre- and post-intervention stimulated whole saliva samples were quantified for calcium/phosphate ionic concentration, total facultative bacterial load, Streptococcus mutans/Lactobacillus spp. counts, and Gram-negative percentage.
A statistically significant reduction in visible plaque score was displayed in the hexitol/CPP-ACP gum group after the intervention when compared with baseline, but the order of the effect was in the same order as the differences between the groups at baseline. A similar tendency was seen in both the pentitol/non-CPP-ACP gum and control groups regarding total salivary facultative bacterial load and S. mutans count, but median values of these parameters were more significantly reduced in the pentitol/non-CPP-ACP gum group in comparison with those of the control group. Alterations of salivary Lactobacillus spp. were demonstrated only in the pentitol/non-CPP-ACP gum group.
Although these findings might indicate that a 30-day protocol of daily chewing of pentitol-sweetened gum containing no CPP-ACP might have some a reducing effect on the salivary levels of facultative bacteria, S. mutans and Lactobacillus spp., there was only a marginal, if any, benefit from the chewing gums under study on some microbiological caries- and gingivitis-related variables.
Taking into account that for transferring results into clinically relevant conclusions the findings need to be strong and consistent, adhering to single significant differences appears not appropriate. Hence, the clinical significance of chewing gums as an adjunctive tool for daily oral care remained questionable.
KeywordsCaries Casein phosphopeptide–amorphous calcium phosphate Gingivitis Sugar-substituted chewing gums Polyols Saliva
The authors wish to thank Prof. Jaime A. Cury, from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, UNICAMP, Brazil, for his assistance on the spectrophotometric determination of calcium and phosphate ionic concentrations. This study has been fully supported by a grant from the Research Development Committee of the University of Antioquia (CODI-Code 8700-678).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no financial interest in the products in this work.
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