Magnolia bark gum reduces oral bacteria

Sugar-free chewing gum containing magnolia bark extract (MBE) has a positive effect on oral health, including reducing salivary mutans streptococci, according to a new study in Caries Research (August 3, 2011).

A team of European researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, controlled intervention trial on 120 with healthy adult volunteers at high risk for caries. All study participants had a salivary mutans streptococci concentration of 105 CFU/mL or more and presence of bleeding on probing of greater than 25%.

The participants were divided into three user groups: magnolia, xylitol, and control. The study design included examinations at baseline, after 7 days, after 30 days of gum use, and 7 days after the end of gum use. Plaque pH was assessed using the strip method following a sucrose challenge. Whole saliva was collected and the number of salivary mutans streptococci (CFU/mL) was counted.

Magnolia gum significantly reduced plaque acidogenicity, mutans streptococci salivary concentration, and gingival bleeding compared with xylitol and control gums, the researchers found. Subjects from the magnolia and xylitol groups showed mutans streptococci concentration to be significantly lower compared with baseline (p = 0.01).

"Thirty-day use of a chewing gum containing magnolia bark extract showed beneficial effects on oral health," the researchers concluded.

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