Objective: The present study investigated the short-term germ-killing effect of sugar-sweetened cinnamon chewing gum on total and H2S-producing salivary anaerobes.
Methods: Fifteen healthy adult subjects were recruited in the double-blind, crossover clinical study. The three test chewing gums included: 1) sugared chewing gum containing cinnamic aldehyde and natural flavors (CinA+); 2) sugared chewing gum without cinnamic aldehyde but with natural flavors (CinA-); and 3) non-sugared chewing gum base (GB) without any flavors and without cinnamic aldehyde. A three-day "washout" period followed each treatment. Each subject chewed gum under supervision for 20 minutes at 60 chews/minute. Unstimulated whole saliva samples were collected before the subjects chewed the gum and at 20 minutes after expectoration of the gum. All saliva samples were serially diluted, plated on blood agar or agar plates that select for bacteria producing H2S, incubated anaerobically for three days, and enumerated for viable colony counts of total and H2S-producing salivary anaerobes.
Results: Significant reductions in total salivary anaerobes (p < 0.01) and H2S-producing salivary anaerobes (p < 0.01) were observed 20 minutes after subjects chewed the CinA+ gum. The chewing of CinA- gum also significantly reduced total salivary anaerobes (p < 0.05) and H2S-producing salivary anaerobes (p < 0.05). However, no statistically significant difference in germ-killing effect was detected between the CinA+ and CinA- gums, although there was a numeric difference. The chewing of a gum base (GB) alone did not result in a significant reduction in the total or H2S-producing salivary anaerobes (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: The commercially available sugar-sweetened cinnamon chewing gum may benefit halitosis by reducing volatile sulfur compounds producing anaerobes in the oral cavity.