Assessment of chewing sugar-free gums for oral debris reduction: a randomized controlled crossover clinical trial

Am J Dent. 2012 Apr;25(2):118-22.


Purpose: To assess the oral debris removal efficacy of two commercial sugar-free chewing gums, based on a newly developed oral debris scoring system.

Methods: A randomized, examiner-blinded, three-arm crossover study was conducted, with a 1-week washout period between the crossover phases. 42 healthy adults were randomly assigned to sugar-free stick gum (Wrigley's Extra Freshmint), sugar-free pellet gum (Wrigley's Extra Fruit) or no-gum chewing groups. Subjects consumed a single chocolate cookie, and were examined at baseline, and at 2-, 5-, and 10-minute time points with or without gum-chewing treatment. Primary outcome measures were oral debris scores on the occlusal surface, interproximal and gingival margin areas. The entire test procedure was repeated on two subsequent visits.

Results: The baseline conditions in the three groups did not differ significantly. Chewing either stick gum or pellet gum resulted in significantly lower oral debris scores (P < 0.0001) compared to the control (no-gum) treatment for all intraoral sites, while no significant difference was observed between the two chewing gum groups. Intra-examiner repeatability of the new scoring criteria was high throughout the study (Kappa > 0.90).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Candy
  • Chewing Gum* / classification
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dental Deposits / classification
  • Dental Deposits / pathology
  • Dental Deposits / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gingiva / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photography, Dental
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sweetening Agents / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors
  • Tooth / pathology
  • Tooth Cervix / pathology
  • Tooth Crown / pathology


  • Chewing Gum
  • Sweetening Agents