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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: QI
Quintessence International

Edited by Eli Eliav

ISSN 0033-6572 (print) • ISSN 1936-7163 (online)

July 1992
Volume 23 , Issue 7

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Effect of gum chewing following food ingestion on the pH of interproximal dental plaque


PMID: 1410246

Recent publications have suggested that chewing sorbitol- or sucrose-containing gum after a snack or meal can reduce development of caries by neutralizing dental plaque acids at interproximal sites in the dentition. To confirm these findings four volunteers wore appliances containing a miniature pH electrode. After plaque accumulation, subjects ingested a blowl of sugar-coated cereal with milk and 20 minutes later chewed a sorbitol-containing gum, a sucrose-containing gum, or did not chew anything for 20 minutes. After exposure to the cereal, the plaque pH fell within 20 minutes from apprxomiately 6.4 to 4.8. Sorbitol gum caused the pH to rise to 5.5, while the sucrose gum caused the pH to rise to only 5.1. After cessation of chewing, the pH in all cases dropped to 4.5 or lower. No statistically significan diftference could be shown between plaque pH changes with the various protocols. Gum chewing after eating caused only a transient elevation in plaque pH.

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