Partnerships and Endorsements
The important role of sugar-free gum in oral care is widely recognized and accepted by experts, dental associations and regulatory authorities around the world.
Recognition and endorsement of the benefits of chewing sugar-free gum
The European Commission
The European Commission (EC) has approved six oral health claims for sugar-free chewing gum, one of the few food categories to gain such recognition. A health claim states, suggests or implies that a relationship exists between a food category, or one of its constituents and health; they are required to be clear, accurate and evidence-based.
Three claims: general function (EC authorized Article 13 claim)
1. Sugar-free chewing gum contributes to the neutralization of plaque acids.
2. Sugar-free chewing gum contributes to the maintenance of tooth mineralization.
3. Sugar-free chewing gum contributes to the reduction of oral dryness.
Three claims: disease risk reduction (EC authorized Article 14 claim)
1. Chewing sugar-free gum helps neutralize plaque acids. Plaque acids are a risk factor in the development of dental caries.
2. Chewing sugar-free gum helps reduce tooth demineralization. Tooth demineralization is a risk factor in the development of dental caries.
3. Chewing gum sweetened with 100% xylitol has been shown to reduce dental plaque. High content/level of dental plaque is a risk factor in the development of caries in children.
Health Canada went further with their advice, concluding in 2014 that scientific evidence exists to support a claim about sugar-free chewing gum and dental caries risk reduction. This claim is considered relevant and applicable to the general population of Canada, since dental caries often begins to develop during childhood and continue into adulthood. The prevalence of dental caries is much higher in adults than in children, and the process of caries development is the same in adults and children.
Chewing sugar-free gum, three times per day after eating/meals, helps reduce/lower the risk of dental caries/tooth decay/cavities.
Association of the Scientific Medical Professional Societies in Germany
Federal guidelines, issued in 2016 by the Association of the Scientific Medical Professional Societies in Germany to aid dentists in decision making, recommended that people regularly chew sugar-free gum, especially after meals, to protect teeth from caries. The guidelines cite numerous studies and systematic reviews which demonstrate the role of sugar-free gum in stimulating saliva production and reducing caries incidence and progression.
Regular chewing of sugar-free gum can contribute additionally to caries prevention and therefore, can be recommended especially after meals.
Australia’s National Oral Health Plan 2015-2024
Chewing sugar-free gum is one of the 11 evidence-based oral health promotion messages developed in 2009 for the Australian public and included in Australia’s National Oral Health Plan 2015-2024, which aims to improve health and wellbeing across the Australian population by reducing the burden of poor oral health.
Chewing sugar-free gum can reduce dental decay.
Additional recognition of the benefits of sugar-free gum
The oral care benefits of chewing sugar-free gum are also recognized by the World Dental Federation (FDI). In its 2014 white paper, entitled ‘Oral Health Worldwide’, the FDI specifically recommended sugar-free gum as a simple and effective way for families and individuals to improve their oral health, alongside other equally essential oral care behaviors such as brushing teeth twice daily and using fluoride toothpaste. Furthermore, the oral care benefits of chewing sugar-free gum are supported by more than 20 national dental or dental health associations worldwide.
“Chewing sugar-free gum, like Extra, is proven to benefit dental health as it helps neutralize plaque acids.”- FDI
The latest research on sugar-free gum
Two recent systematic reviews published by King’s College have concluded that the regular use of polyol combination chewing gum leads to a reduction in dental caries and is an effective addition to oral health regimens.