“10 Minutes of Chewing Gum Can Remove 100 Million Bacteria From Your Mouth” – Study Claims

Chewing gum has been found to remove harmful bacteria from mouths, according to a study.

Researchers found that just a single piece of chewing gum can remove 100 million bacteria – 10 per cent of the microbial load in saliva – in ten minutes.

And they say that gum can be just as effective as flossing – although they each targets different areas of the mouth.

The study, which appeared in the journal Plos One, was led by researchers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

They found that the gum was most effective in the first 30 seconds of chewing, and after that it would become less effective in trapping bacteria on a sliding scale.

Also, they note that only gum that did not contain sugar was useful; if it did contain sugar, it could ‘feed’ oral bacteria.

In one of their experiments, known numbers of bacteria were finger-chewed into the mouths of participants, and they were then asked to chew gum for 10 minutes.

The researchers found that about 100 million bacteria were detected on each piece of chewed gum, with the number increasing as chewing time increased.

‘Trapped bacteria were clearly visualised in chewed gum using scanning-electron-microscopy,’ they wrote in their paper.

They used two unnamed brands of spearming gum in their study.

Chewing one piece of gum could remove about 10 per cent of the oral microbial load in saliva.

They note, however, that continuously chewing gum can ultimately release some of the absorbed bacteria back into the mouth.

‘Continued chewing changes the structure of the gums, decreasing the hardness of the gum due to uptake of salivary components and release of water soluble components,’ they write.

‘This presumably affects the adhesion of bacteria to the gum, causing a release of initially trapped, more weakly adhering bacteria from the gum.

‘Such a change in composition of trapped bacteria is supported by the observation that the diversity of species trapped in chewed gum increases with chewing time.’

The researchers add that their research could be used to develop gum that selectively removes specific disease-related bacteria from mouths.

Source: DailyMail

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