Objective: A controlled, clinical, double-blind study was conducted to assess the efficacy of a sugar-free chewing gum containing zinc acetate and magnolia bark extract (MBE) on oral volatile sulfur-containing compounds (VSC) versus a placebo sugar-free chewing gum for two hours.
Methods: To participate in the study, subjects had to have at least 24 of their teeth, no report of oral and systemic diseases, and no removable dentures. All 168 eligible participants had to avoid any professional oral hygiene, refrain from taking medicine for two weeks, and not be menstruating. They were also instructed not to brush their teeth and tongue, smoke, drink alcohol, or eat onion, garlic, or licorice for the six-hour period before the visit and during the test. Moreover, to join the protocol, they had to show a VSC score of > or = 75 ppb at the baseline measurement. One-hundred and twenty-three subjects (67 men and 56 women, mean age 37) met the criteria at baseline and were entered into either the test or control group by assignment from a table of randomized numbers. The test chewing gum (2.23 g) contained zinc acetate 0.012% and magnolia bark extract 0.15% in weight; the control gum was equivalent without these active agents. The OralChroma device was utilized to evaluate total oral VSC. Their levels were recorded at baseline, after ten minutes of mastication, after one hour, and after two hours. Data were analyzed with SPSS software and the level of significance was set at alpha = 0.05.
Results: One-hundred and twenty-three subjects completed the trial (62 in the control group and 61 in the test group); none reported problems linked to zinc acetate or magnolia bark extract. The mean percentage reductions from baseline at the end of the 10-minute chewing were 31.2% in the control group (p < 0.05) and 50.9% in the test group (p < 0.05). One hour later the reductions were 6.9% in the control group and 27.6% in the test group (p < 0.05); two hours later the reductions were 2.3% in the control group and 13.6% in the test group. The comparison of the two groups after baseline adjustment showed a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) in VSC reductions between the test and control chewing gums at the end of the mastication period and after one hour.
Conclusion: Chewing gum containing zinc acetate and magnoliabark extract can significantly reduce the oral VSC levels for more than one hour. Moreover, the test chewing gum reduces oral VSC significantly more than a control chewing gum.