0332 Short-term germ-kill effect of chewing gum containing plant essential oils
M. ZHU, R.H.R. CARVALHO, A. SCHER, and C.D. WU, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry, USA

The volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) produced by anaerobes associated with gingivitis or periodontitis contribute to human halitosis, a major social and psychological problem that affects a majority of the general population. Many oral products containing plant essential oils have been marketed for breath freshening purposes. Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate the short-term germ-kill effects of chewing gum containing antimicrobial plant essential oils on total and H2S-producing salivary anaerobes. Methods: Fifteen healthy subjects were recruited in this double blind and crossover study. Test gums included commercially available chewing gum with and without cinnamic aldehyde and a non-flavored gum base. Each subject chewed gum under supervision for 20min at 1 chew/sec. Unstimulated whole saliva samples were collected at baseline and at 20 min after expectoration of the gum. All saliva samples were diluted, plated on blood agar or agar containing lead acetate, incubated anaerobically for 3 days, and viable colony counts of total and H2S-producing bacteria were enumerated. Results: Significant reductions in both total and H2S-producing salivary anaerobes were noted in subjects 20 min after chewing with both test gums: 0.59±0.37 log (p<0.01) and 0.51±0.39 log (p<0.01) for gum with cinnamic aldehyde; and 0.44±0.59 log (p<0.05) and 0.42±0.70 log (p<0.05) for gum without cinnamic aldehyde. No reduction in the total or H2S-producing salivary anaerobes were noted in subjects at 20 min after chewing with the non-flavored gum base (p>0.05). Conclusion: The flavoring plant essential oils or cinnamic aldehyde in chewing gum contribute to the short term “germ-kill” effect against human salivary anaerobes including the VSC-producing bacteria. This suggests that appropriately formulated chewing gum may be an effective oral delivery system for the control of halitosis thereby improving oral health of the general population (Research supported by William Wrigley Jr. Company).

Seq #54 - Oral Malodor/Halitosis
8:00 AM-9:30 AM, Thursday, 11 March 2004 Hawaii Convention Center 322-B

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