As reported by the Oral Health Foundation, a recent study published in the American Journal of Dentistry found that chewing just one additional piece of sugar-free chewing gum each day could save £3.3 billion worldwide on treating tooth decay.
This finding is significant as tooth decay and oral diseases rank fourth among the most expensive health conditions to treat worldwide according to the World Health Organization. Despite tooth decay being largely preventable, it still affects 60–90% of schoolchildren and nearly all adults globally.
The study aim was to explore the cost savings that chewing sugar-free chewing gum could bring. According to Professor Reinhard Rychlik, Director of the Institute of Empirical Health Economics in Germany and study lead: “Chewing sugar-free gum as a preventive measure for tooth decay has the potential to deliver significant dental care cost savings worldwide”.
Chewing sugar-free gum after eating increases the production of saliva, which can help wash away particles of food and can restore optimum pH levels faster. The benefits of chewing sugar-free gum in the prevention of tooth decay are recognised by the European Commission, the FDI World Dental Federation and the Oral Health Foundation in the UK, among others. As nearly all adults experience tooth decay, chewing sugar-free chewing gum could prevent further dental cavities.