Study: Chewing gum traps as many as 100 million bacteria in 10 minutes

Researcher have said that chewing gum are good for oral health as they have the ability to trap and remove as many as 100 million bacteria from your mouth in just 10 minutes. The research was conducted by researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands wherein five biomedical engineering students were asked to chew two different types of spearmint for various lengths of time ranging from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. The students were then asked to spit the gum into a cup filled with sterile water to be analysed. The analysis revealed that there were about 100 million bacteria on each piece of chewed up gum, with the number increasing as chewing time increased. The research also found that though higher number of bacteria were trapped if the gum was trapper for longer time, after 30 seconds of chewing, the gum starts to lose its adhesiveness, meaning it traps fewer bacteria overall. The gum trapper bacteria from oral cavities.

“Trapped bacteria were clearly visualised in chewed gum using scanning-electron microscopy,” researchers said in the paper published in the journal PLOS ONE. Previous research has shown that using a new, clean toothbrush without any toothpaste can remove around 100 million colony-forming units (CFUs) per brush, which would put chewing of gum on par with the mechanical action of a toothbrush.

“Chewing gum however, does not necessarily remove bacteria from the same sites of the dentition as does brushing or flossing, therefore its results may be noticeable on a more long-term than those of brushing or flossing,” researchers said.



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