Chewing gum dates back to the ancient Greek and recently, chewing gum has been developed more and more towards being an oral care and functional product as it provides potential benefits for oral health.
Most chewing gums have a gum based consist a mixture of food grade synthetic elastomers as well. The gum-base are supplemented with artificial sweeteners nowadays compared to other types of sugar and the inclusion of that has been described to reduce the formation of oral biofilms on teeth. Oral biofilms are causative to caries and periodontal diseases. Moreover, the aim of this study is to develop methods on how to quantify the number of bacterias after chewing and to qualitatively determine the bacterial composition of bacteria in chewed gum.
In this experiment, two spearmint gym was obtained and four different types of bacteria were used. These four type of bacteria were known as Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus mitis, and Actinomyces naeslundii. This experiment also involves 1 healthy male and 4 healthy females that were all aged between 27 to 56 years old. The test subjects were given a piece each type of gum and had to chew that piece gum for over a certain period of time, in this case, is most likely 5 to 10 minutes. After chewing, the piece of gum was spit and placed into a polystyrene cup. The gum was later submerged into a 10 mL of sterile water.
After it was submerged, the calibration curve, which is a general method for determining the concentration of a substance in an unknown sample by comparing the unknown to a set of standard samples of known concentration, was used to determine the total number of bacteria that’s present within the gum. The results has shown that there is an interchangeable relationship between the number of bacteria trapped in the gum piece and the numbers of colony forming units. It has been shown that all the data that had contained a lost turned out to have a linear relationship. One of the linear relationship indicated a slow decrease in bacterial trapping with increasing chewing time in human volunteers after an initial maximum in both methods regarding the type of chewing gum involved. The initial gums are more adhesive to oral bacteria compared to the continuation of chewing as it changes the structure of the gum which decreases the hardness of the gum due to the uptake of salivary components and the release of water soluble components.
This affects the adhesion of bacteria to the gum which causes the release of initially trapped bacteria from the gum. In other words, the number of bacteria trapped in a chewed piece of gum depends on the time of chewing and retrieval method. From this study, it can indicate that when gum is chewed on a daily basis, it may contribute on a long term to reduce the bacterial load in the oral cavity or even may promote the development of gum that can selectively removes specific disease related bacteria from human oral cavity.
In conclusion, the data found has fully supported the researchers’ hypothesis that chewing gum can trap bacteria and remove them from the oral cavity.