The Latest From WOHP
WOHP attends FDI World Dental Congress in Sydney
30 September 2023
The Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program joined more than 10,000 attendees at FDI World Dental Congress in Sydney, Australia in September to raise awareness of the oral health benefits of chewing sugar-free gum among the dental community and to hand out free samples of our sugar-free gum products! Over four days at the conference we met with hundreds of dentists, hygienists, researchers, academics and others, sharing information about our work to promote better oral healthcare and the role sugar-free gum can play in protecting teeth and gums.
In addition, Dr. Mike Dodds, BDS PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Science & Technology at Mars Wrigley, gave two addresses to attendees, one focusing on the role of chewing gum stimulated saliva in primary caries prevention, and another on the relationship between diet, nutrition, and dental diseases.
FDI Congress is one of the biggest events in the oral health calendar and it was a pleasure to interact with so many other like-minded individuals and groups who share our ambition of better oral health for all. We are looking forward to the 2024 World Dental Congress in Istanbul.
New research shows that chewing gum can help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth
23 June 2023
A new systematic review and meta-analysis into the effect of chewing gum on xerostomia (dry mouth) has been published in the BMC Oral Health journal.
Xerostomia can negatively affect peoples’ quality of life with symptoms including oral dryness; thirst; difficulty speaking, chewing, and swallowing food; oral discomfort; mouth soft tissue soreness and infections; and rampant tooth decay. The objective of the systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate if gum chewing is an intervention that results in improvements in salivary flow rates and relief from xerostomia.
The review looked at studies focused on elderly people with xerostomia and medically compromised people with xerostomia. A meta-analysis was conducted on studies where measurements of unstimulated whole salivary flow rate for both a gum chewing, and no gum chewing intervention (daily chewing of gum for two weeks or longer) were reported.
The review found that chewing gum can increase unstimulated salivary flow rate in elderly and medically compromised people with xerostomia. Increasing the number of days over which gum is chewed increases the improvement in the rate of salivation. Gum chewing was also linked with improvements in self-reported levels of xerostomia (although it is noted that no significant effects were detected in five of the studies reviewed).
New research highlights the oral health benefits of low and no calorie sweeteners
8 June 2023
A review article published in The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice by Shankargouda and colleagues has reviewed evidence relating to the oral health benefits of sweeteners, finding that – although cautious intake is recommended – sweeteners can “benefit several health conditions” and that dental caries “are indicated to decline in individuals” consuming these ingredients. The authors conclude that the body of available research in this area shows that “sweeteners act as a majority help to maintain good oral health”.
Sweeteners are used in sugar-free gum to provide a good taste and oral health benefits. Unlike sugar, they do not promote tooth decay because they cannot be broken down by oral bacteria in the mouth. Furthermore, chewing sugar-free chewing gum stimulates saliva which helps to maintain healthy teeth by clearing the mouth of food debris and sugar(s), neutralizing harmful plaque acids, and supporting remineralization of tooth enamel. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) notes that “there is sufficient scientific information to support the claims that intense sweeteners, as all sugar replacers, maintain tooth mineralization by decreasing tooth demineralization if consumed instead of sugars”.
 EFSA, Scientific opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to intense sweeteners. EFSA Journal 2011;9(6):2229. Available online: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2229/epdf
WOHP celebrates World Oral Health Day by encouraging people to look after their teeth for the special moments in life that make you smile
20 March 2023
To celebrate this year’s World Oral Health Day – a key opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health – the WOHP launched a campaign to celebrate moments of everyday happiness. Special moments don’t have to be major milestones – often the most powerful moments are the everyday. It could be spending quality time with your family, celebrating a birthday or going to watch a movie. Smiles are how we express ourselves – that’s why having good teeth is so important to overall happiness and wellbeing.
Sadly, however, more than 3.5 billion people are affected by some kind of oral health problem. Having poor oral health can impact on your confidence and self-esteem, leading to reduced socialising or isolation. Through a series of online education materials, we sought to remind people of the importance of these moments, how they evoke happy memories and lead us to smile and show our teeth. This presented a great opportunity to promote the oral health benefits of chewing sugar-free gum, highlighting the role gum can play as part of a daily oral hygiene routine, especially when snacking on-the-go.
To learn more about World Oral Health Day, please click here.
 Chewing sugar-free gum helps prevent tooth decay by increasing the production of saliva – the body’s natural defense system for mouth and teeth.
Research by King’s College London shows that chewing sugar-free gum significantly reduces plaque quantity in the oral cavity
12 April 2022
Scientists at King’s College London (KCL) have published a new systematic review and meta-analysis into the oral care benefits of chewing sugar-free gum. The latest study marks the third in a series of research papers published by KCL into sugar-free gum.
This study found that chewing sugar-free gum significantly reduced plaque quantity in the oral cavity. When looking more specifically at xylitol gum, the review also found that it significantly reduced plaque quantity. The study concluded that this new research provides evidence to support the use of sugar-free gum – and more particularly xylitol sugar-free gum – in reducing plaque quantity in adults.
The first paper in this series by KCL, published in 2019, showed that the use of sugar-free gum may contribute to prevention and control of dental caries in children with a preventative fraction of 28%. In 2021, the scientists published a second paper based on the data, which found that chewing sugar-free gum reduces the load of Streptococcus mutans (a contributor to tooth decay, mostly found on the surfaces of teeth) in the oral cavity. This latest study provides further evidence supporting the use of sugar-free gum as part of a complete oral hygiene routine, in addition to brushing twice daily, consuming a healthy and balanced diet, and regular dental check-ups.
To read the study in full, please click here. This research was made possible with support from the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program.
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.