Antimicrobial agent chlorhexidine (CHX) was heralded as the stand out ingredient.
The review published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene screened 594 clinical trials and analyzed 14 papers that met its eligibility criteria. The ingredients assessed were: CHX, zinc gluconate, mastic, pycnogenol, funoran, eucalyptus, acacia, hydrogen peroxide, magnolia bark extract and urea.
CHX most compelling
“Most of the chewing gums with antimicrobial agents or herbal extracts were shown to have a positive effect with respect to plaque and gingivitis scores,” said the review.
“The most compelling evidence was provided for chewing gum containing chlorhexidine.”
CHX is an antiseptic antibacterial agent. It was one of the first antimicrobial agents believed to inhibit dental plaque and gingivitis.
The researchers had enough data on chlorhexidine to perform a meta-analysis.
“The meta-analysis and the votecounting results of the individual studies indicate a beneficial effect on plaque inhibition.
“However, the GRADE evidence profile shows that the recommendation to use CHX-containing chewing gum to reduce the presence of plaque in the absence of brushing is considered to be ‘weak’.”
The researchers added that eucalyptus, acacia, funoran, pycnogenol and mastic all had positive impacts on plaque scores. Urea and zinc gluconate were found to have no real effect.
Updated at: 2013-07-07