Assessment of chewing sugar-free gums for oral debris reduction: a randomized controlled crossover clinical trial.
ABSTRACT To assess the oral debris removal efficacy of two commercial sugar-free chewing gums, based on a newly developed oral debris scoring system.
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.
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).