Chewing gum has been discovered to remove harmful bacteria from mouths, according to a new study. The DailyMail has more:
Researchers found that just a single piece of chewing gum can remove 100 million bacteria – 10 per cent of the microbial load in saliva – in ten minutes. And they say that gum can be just as effective as flossing – although they each targets different areas of the mouth. The study, which appeared in the journal Plos One, was led by researchers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
They found that the gum was most effective in the first 30 seconds of chewing, and after that it would become less effective in trapping bacteria on a sliding scale.
Also, they note that only gum that did not contain sugar was useful; if it did contain sugar, it could ‘feed’ oral bacteria. In one of their experiments, known numbers of bacteria were finger-chewed into the mouths of participants, and they were then asked to chew gum for 10 minutes.
The researchers found that about 100 million bacteria were detected on each piece of chewed gum, with the number increasing as chewing time increased. ‘Trapped bacteria were clearly visualised in chewed gum using scanning-electron-microscopy,’ they wrote in their paper. They used two unnamed brands of spearming gum in their study.