Effect of after-meal sucrose-free gum-chewing on clinical caries

J Dent Res. 2001 Aug;80(8):1725-9. doi: 10.1177/00220345010800080901.


Previous in situ and in vitro studies have demonstrated that the chewing of sucrose-free gum after eating reduces the development of dental caries. To investigate the extrapolation of these findings to the clinical setting, we conducted a two-year study on 547 schoolchildren in Budapest, Hungary. Subjects in the "Gum" group were instructed to chew one stick of a commercially available sorbitol-sweetened chewing gum for 20 minutes after meals, three times daily. The "Control" group was not provided with chewing gum. After two years, the "Gum" group exhibited a 38.7% reduction in incremental caries, excluding white spots, compared with the "Control" group. Including white spots, a corresponding 33.1% reduction was indicated. These results clearly suggest that even in a moderate caries population practicing normal oral hygiene, including the use of fluoride dentifrices, an after-meal gum-chewing regimen can significantly reduce the rate of caries development.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cariostatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chewing Gum*
  • Child
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control*
  • Dentifrices / therapeutic use
  • Eating*
  • Female
  • Fluorides / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hungary
  • Incisor / pathology
  • Male
  • Molar / pathology
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Patient Compliance
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sorbitol*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Sweetening Agents*


  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Chewing Gum
  • Dentifrices
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Sorbitol
  • Fluorides