Effects of nine different chewing-gums and lozenges on salivary flow rate and pH

Caries Res. 1992;26(3):176-82. doi: 10.1159/000261439.


The objectives of this study were to determine how salivary flow rate and pH vary with time during use of chewing-gums and lozenges. Twenty-four young adults collected unstimulated saliva and then, on different occasions, chewed one of six flavoured gums, or gum base, or sucked on one of two lozenges, for 20 min, during which time eight separate saliva samples were collected. Flow rate peaked during the 1st minute of stimulation with all nine products. With the lozenges, flow rate fell towards the unstimulated rate when the lozenges had dissolved. There were no significant differences in the flow rates elicited by cinnamon- or peppermint-flavoured gums or between sugar-containing or sugar-free gums. With the flavoured gums, the mean flow rate followed a power curve (r = -0.992) with time and within about 10 min was not significantly different from that when gum base was the stimulus. The initial stimulated flow rate with flavoured gums was about 10-12 times greater than the unstimulated rate (0.47 ml/min). After 20 min of chewing, it was still about 2.7 times that rate and about the same as the flow rate elicited by chewing-gum base alone. The pH of unstimulated saliva was about 6.95. With one gum containing about 1.5% organic acids, the salivary pH fell to a minimum of 6.18 in the 1st minute of stimulation, but then rose rapidly to a level above that in unstimulated saliva. With a sucrose-containing and a sucrose-free gum, the pH rose immediately on stimulation and then fell slightly with time to levels which were significantly above the pH of unstimulated saliva.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chewing Gum* / analysis
  • Female
  • Flavoring Agents / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Saliva / metabolism*
  • Saliva / physiology*
  • Secretory Rate
  • Sucrose / analysis
  • Sweetening Agents / analysis
  • Tablets* / analysis
  • Time Factors


  • Chewing Gum
  • Flavoring Agents
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Tablets
  • Sucrose