Gum chewing associated with higher salivary flow

Frequent gum chewing is associated with higher salivary flow rates and lower caries severity, according to a study in Caries Research (July 18, 2012, Vol. 46:6, pp. 513-518).

SPRIM, a consulting firm and clinical research organization that partners with life science companies, collaborated with the Wrigley Company and the Affiliated Stomatology Hospital of Tongji University in Shanghai, China, to conduct a prospective, cross-sectional study of 191 adults ages 18 to 65 years to determine the relationship between gum-chewing habits and oral health. All subjects reported their gum-chewing habits on a standard questionnaire and underwent a series of oral health tests, including unstimulated salivary flow rate, salivary pH, and caries severity.

Older adults had a lower, unstimulated salivary flow rate, the researchers found.

"Gum chewing on more days per week had a consistent relationship with elevated unstimulated salivary flow rate and lower caries severity," principal study author XiaoPing Wang stated in a press release.

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