Chew away to prevent decay


Bubblegum: Courtesy of anva
Bubblegum: Courtesy of anva

Wouldn’t it be great if chewing gum could actually help your teeth? Well it may soon be possible.

The German company, BASF, has developed a chewing gum with helpful bacteria that can prevent tooth decay.

Dental cavities are caused by the bacteria Streptococcus mutans. When S. mutans attaches to our teeth, it converts sugars into harmful acids that eat away at our tooth enamel.

The friendly bacteria in the chewing gum, Lactobacillus anti-caries, causes the S. mutans bacteria to clump together and thus prevents them from sticking to the teeth.

Research of the effectiveness of this gum has shown that it is able to reduce the presence of S. mutans to one-fiftieth of its original level.

Dentists emphasize that the chewing gum should not be a substitution for brushing our teeth. L. anti-caries targets only one type of plaque causing bacteria. There are many types of bacteria that cause plaque. We should still brush our teeth, use fluorides, and reduce our sugar consumption to help fight tooth decay.

In addition to including the friendly bacteria in chewing gum, BASF is proposing to use L. anti-caries in other oral hygiene products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash.

Dental benefits are not the only positive effects of Lactobacillus bacteria. A different stain of Lactobacillus has long been used in yogurt and is known to help with digestive problems. Scientists at BASF are also looking into using different strains of Lactobacillus to help eliminate body odor and help repair damaged skin.

The first Lactobacillus products will likely hit stores in 2007.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

That's a great idea. Another good idea would be to add it to other food products such as milk and ect..

posted on Fri, 11/17/2006 - 10:20am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i would totally buy this gum if it comes out

posted on Tue, 01/23/2007 - 8:30am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Sun, 03/25/2007 - 5:40pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 7:57am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

where I can acquire this gum?

posted on Sun, 01/20/2008 - 5:03pm
Dr. Hamfrey Portland's picture

I wonder what took us so long to finally come up with a real "healthy" chewing gum. Adding flavors too will also entice children to try this one out.

posted on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 11:56am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

For years I've been trying to market my own healthy gum, but I've been exclusively manufacturing "non-traditional" flavors, like "sweat," "cat box," "grit," and "brown."

All this time I thought kids were just opposed to healthy products. Now I'm beginning to question that.

posted on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 3:15pm
Dr. Joseph Portland's picture

It seems the chewing gum discussed here is really teeth-friendly. It stands to reason that the acid forming bacteria just go clogged thanks to the chewing gum.

posted on Thu, 01/15/2009 - 7:08am

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