By Gum, It's Gum: Sugarless Chewing Helps Elders' Oral Health
October 3, 2012
By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service
INTELIHEALTH - Sugarless gum may mean healthier mouths for older people.
A British study compared two groups of older adults. One group chewed sugarless gum twice a day for 6 months. The other did not. Compared with the control group, people in the gum-chewing group had less plaque on their teeth. They also had healthier gums.
About 40% of the gum-chewing group thought their oral health had improved during the study. Only 21% of the other group said this.
The people who didn't chew gum had an increase in saliva flow. The authors said that there was no good explanation for this finding.
Each person in the study was at least 60 years old and had at least 6 natural teeth. None of them lived in nursing homes or other assisted living facilities.
The study appears in the October issue of the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.