Oral health: Role of chewing gum


Ponnuswamy MANIKANDAN 1, Menaga VENTATACHALAM 2, Rajappan Raja Rajesh KUMAR 3

1 National Dental Centre, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, 2 Manage Dental Centre, Tamil Nadu, India, 3 Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Raja Muttiah Dental College, Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, INDIA.



The prevalence of dental caries in Brunei Darussalam is highly alarming and dental anxiety in general leads to avoidance of dental care. Since this is an era of preventive dentistry utilising a holistic approach, excellent results could be achieved if preventative methods are regularly used by people in day-to-day life. Gum chewing is increasing dramatically despite racial, cultural and religious taboos against them. Many previously considered chewing sugared gum might increase the cariogenic load. However with better understanding of cariology, it is now perceived by many that chewing sugared gum after meals is safe. Sugarless gum has an important role in preventive dentistry. Chewing gum with incorporation of anti-plaque agents and various drug delivery systems is distinctive as a special confectionary item. This article reviews the historical background of gum chewing, the role of various chewing gums in preventing oral diseases like dental caries and periodontal diseases, its role in the management of xerostomia, hypersensitive teeth and as an alternate to cigarette smoking habit.


Keywords: Chewing gum, dental caries, oral diseases, oral health


Correspondence author: P MANIKANDAN, National Dental Centre, Berakas, Bandar Seri Begawan, BA 3510, Brunei Darussalam. E mail: sarasmani28@yahoo.com


Brunei Int Med J. 2011; 7 (3): 130-138