Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Popular Chewing Gum Eliminates Bacteria That Cause Bad Breath

Date:
April 1, 2004
Source:
University Of Illinois At Chicago
Summary:
Chewing gum may just be the latest in a growing list of functional foods. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that Big Red -- the popular cinnamon-flavored chewing gum made by Wrigley's -- reduced bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath.

Chewing gum may just be the latest in a growing list of functional foods. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that Big Red -- the popular cinnamon-flavored chewing gum made by Wrigley's -- reduced bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath.

The finding was presented at the recent annual meeting of the International Association for Dental Research.

Given that the gum contains cinnamic aldehyde, a plant essential oil used for flavoring, the result was not surprising, said Christine Wu, professor of periodontics and associate dean for research at the UIC College of Dentistry. Wu, who searches for natural antibacterial agents from plant sources that suppress oral pathogens, had tested several plant essential oils and found that they inhibited the growth of bacteria responsible for cavities and periodontal infections.

"In laboratory tests, some of these oils also prevented the growth of three species of oral bacteria associated with bad breath and the production of volatile compounds that cause the unpleasant smell," Wu said.

The laboratory findings and interest from the Wrigley Company in Chicago prompted Wu to launch a clinical trial of the effects of chewing gum on oral bacteria.

In the study, 15 subjects chewed one of three gums for 20 minutes: Big Red, the same gum with natural flavors but no cinnamic aldehyde, or a gum base with neither flavors or oil.

Twenty minutes after the subjects stopped chewing the gum, their saliva was tested and compared with samples collected before chewing began.

Microbiological analysis showed that Big Red reduced by more than 50 percent the concentration of anaerobic bacteria in the saliva. It was particularly effective against anaerobic bacteria residing at the back of the tongue, reducing the population by 43 percent. These bacteria produce volatile sulfur compounds through the putrefaction of proteins and are considered the major contributors to halitosis, or bad breath.

The gum that contained natural flavors but no cinnamic aldehyde also reduced the number of bacteria by about 40 percent.

"The result was puzzling at first, but after compiling our data, we were informed that the natural flavors included a small amount of a plant extract," Wu said. "We had already shown in previous lab studies that this extract suppresses the growth of oral pathogens."

The gum base without flavors or cinnamic aldehyde produced no significant reduction in oral bacteria.

"Our study shows that chewing gum can be a functional food, having a significant impact on oral hygiene over the short term, if it contains antimicrobial agents such as cinnamic aldehyde or other natural active compounds," Wu said. "The product doesn't just mask foul mouth odor; it eliminates the bacteria that cause it, at least temporarily."

Min Zhu, research associate in Wu's laboratory, collaborated in the study, which was funded by the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company.

For more information about the UIC College of Dentistry, visit http://dentistry.uic.edu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Chicago. "Popular Chewing Gum Eliminates Bacteria That Cause Bad Breath." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040401080031.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Chicago. (2004, April 1). Popular Chewing Gum Eliminates Bacteria That Cause Bad Breath. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040401080031.htm
University Of Illinois At Chicago. "Popular Chewing Gum Eliminates Bacteria That Cause Bad Breath." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040401080031.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins