Quantification and Qualification of Bacteria Trapped in Chewed Gum
BACKGROUND Chewing-gum may serve as an effective oral hygiene device when brushing may not be possible. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of chewing sugar-free gum twice a day after meals in addition to tooth brushing on dental plaque and interdental debris. METHODS Twenty four (12 males and 12 females aged 20-21 years) healthy third-year dental students participated in the study. It was a prospective single blind and non-randomized before and after study. The control group followed tooth brushing habit twice a day plus water rinsing after meals at noon and night for 10 days. The study group followed tooth brushing habit twice a day plus chewing one pellet of sugar-free gum after meals at noon and night for 30 minutes for 3 weeks. Personal hygiene performance index (PHP-M) was used to assess the dental plaque and self-designed interdental debris index for interdental debris. ANOVA, Tukey and 't' tests were used for data analysis. The level of significance was fixed at α = 0.05. RESULTS The baseline percentages of cumulative plaque and interdental debris were 63.12% and 76.44%, respectively. There was no significant difference in the plaque scores following either water rinsing (61.73%) or gum chewing (59.44%) after meals, but a statistically significant reduction of 14.18% in interdental debris was observed among those who chewed the gum (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION After meal, gum chewing in addition to daily tooth brushing reduced interdental debris, but had no effect on established buccal and lingual dental plaques.