Use of sugar-free gum as complement in the prevention of dental caries. Narrative review.

Francisca Matthews

Abstract


Tooth decay is one of the diseases most prevalent, being ranked as one of the major public health problems worldwide. For this reason it has been emphasized the development of new preventive methods, as the use of sugar-free gum. With this strategy it is possible to obtain significant benefits for oral health product by: (1) stimulation of salivation, which favors the clearance and regulates the pH; (2) promotion of remineralization as a consequence of this stimulation and the addition of minerals to the gum; (3) mechanical plaque control; (4) replacement of sugar with sweeteners harmful for bacteria, of which the most widely used is the xylitol; and (5) addition of active agents such as bicarbonate, casein, urea, chlorhexidine and chitosan, among others. Despite providing these benefits, is considered that the effect of gum is weak in preventing caries when the order is sought in the absence of toothbrushing and therefore should be proposed for implementation in addition to routine oral hygiene and not as a preventive measure alone, being necessary to perform a greater number of short and long term clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness in a context of high biological variability, including patients of different sex, age, socioeconomic status and systemic health.

Keywords


Chewing gum; Caries; Carbohydrates; Primary prevention.

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