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Vol. 41, No. 2, 2007
Issue release date: February 2007

Effects of Various Forms of Calcium Added to Chewing Gum on Initial Enamel Carious Lesions in situ

Schirrmeister J.F. · Seger R.K. · Altenburger M.J. · Lussi A. · Hellwig E.
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The purpose of this randomized, cross-over in situ study was to determine the effects of 4 chewing gums on artificial caries-like subsurface lesions. Two chewing gums (1 with zinc citrate and 1 without) contained dicalcium phosphate (3.9%), calcium gluconate (1.8%) and calcium lactate (0.45%), 1 chewing gum contained casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate nanocomplexes (0.7%), and another one contained no calcium. Fifteen subjects without current caries activity (7 male, 8 female; mean age: 27.5 ± 2.5 years) wore removable buccal appliances in the lower jaw with 4 bovine enamel slabs with subsurface lesions. The appliances were inserted immediately before gum chewing for 20 min and then retained for an additional 20 min. This was performed 4 times per day. Every subject chewed 4 different chewing gums over 4 periods of 14 days each. During a fifth period (control) the subjects only wore the appliances without chewing gum. At completion of each period the enamel slabs were embedded, sectioned and subjected to transversal microradiography. With regard to change of mineral loss and of lesion depth no significant differences could be found between chewing gums containing calcium and calcium-free chewing gums. Moreover, the chewing gum groups and the control group did not differ significantly if adjustments were made for baseline values (p > 0.05; ANCOVA). Under the conditions of the present study it may be concluded that the use of chewing gum offers no additional remineralizing benefit to buccal tooth surfaces, even if the chewing gum contains calcium compounds.

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