Persica based chewing gum could boost gum health

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Oral hygiene

The use of Salvadora persica extract chewing gum may have benefits for gum health, according to Iranian researchers.

The authors of a study, published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice​, claim their findings demonstrate that chewing gum is a useful device to deliver Persica extract, and it can preserve the efficacy of ingredients.

Healthy gum market

According to Euromonitor, functional gum volume sales have increased on average by over 15 per cent per year since 1998.

And, in spite of its high degree of development, the analysts claim the market does not show signs of saturation. They note that ingredient development has been driving demand towards even more value added and high margin products that can command a nearly 40 per cent price difference on standard, sugarised gum products.

Antimicrobial extract

The Iran based scientists explained that the plant Salvadora persica or Arak, is most commonly used in the Middle East, and aqueous extracts of it contains a number of antimicrobial and prophylactic components.

Several studies have described its antibacterial effects on cariogenic bacteria and on periodontal – gum tissue - pathogens such as streptococcus mutans​, streptococcus salivarius​, and staphylococcus aureus​ but the authors report that there is no previous research on the use of chewing gum as a delivery mechanism for this antimicrobial.

The periodontal includes the tissues that surround and support the teeth with the disease periodontitis involving progressive loss of the alveolar bone around the teeth. It is caused by microorganisms that adhere to and grow on the tooth's surfaces. Periodontitis, if left untreated, can lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth.


The researchers said that their double blind randomized clinical trial involved 72 female high school students aged between 15 and 18 years with plaque induced moderate gingivitis. The subjects were healthy, nonsmokers, had not taken antibiotics within past four weeks or drugs affecting the periodontium, they added.

They said that the Persica gum was identical to the placebo gum (Relax Fresh Mint Sugar Free gum provided by Turkish firm Kent Gida) except for the presence of Persica extract, which was a 0.6 per cent concentration of Persica mouth rinse.

According to the article, the subjects were randomly allocated into four equal groups with 18 participants in each.

The authors reported that the students of the first group used Persica chewing gum, and underwent two sessions of scaling, rubber cap polishing, and root planning procedure in the days zero and 7 of the trial. The second group used the placebo and undertook two sessions of scaling, rubber cap polishing procedure on day 0 and day 7 of the trial.

The third group, continued the team, were allocated to use Persica gum, while the fourth group used the placebo.

Each subject was provided with a tooth brush, dental floss and fluoride toothpaste, and asked to brush three times a day at least for 5 minutes, and twice a day of dental flossing. They were also asked to chew the gum after each tooth brushing session (three times a day), at least for one hour, they added.

Plaque index (PI), gingival index (GI), and bleeding index (BI), were measured at days 0, 7, and 14, reported the team.

The researchers also aid that the subjects were asked about the taste, adherence and any side effects of the gum, and seven participants from the Persica scaling group and five from the Persica no scaling group were excluded for complaining about the taste and irritation in tongue borders.


According to the researchers’ findings, Persica​ extract chewing gum had a considerable effect on the gingival index (GI), and the bleeding index (BI) but not the plague index (PI) in Persica​ groups compared with the placebo groups at day 7 and 14 of the trial.

They said that the outcomes show “that the use of Persica containing chewing gum in comparison to placebo gum has a strong effect on gingival inflammation and gingival bleeding.”

The researchers also reported that the Persica​ extract in chewing gum shows the same effect in scaling and no scaling groups meaning that its effect is not improved or weakened by scaling procedure.

They noted that their findings are consistent with the results of a study performed by Khalessi et al which showed gingival bleeding was significantly reduced with the use of Persica mouth rinse.

And the team concluded that the “use of chewing gum as a carrier of Persica extract, can reduce GI and BI, and improves gingival health with or without scaling, in patient with a mild gingivitis.”

Source: Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Published online ahead of print: doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2009.11.002
Title: Salvadora Persica extract chewing gum and gingival health: Improvement of gingival and probe-bleeding index
Authors: B Amoian, A. Akbar Moghadamnia, S Barzi, S Sheykholeslami, A. Rangiani

Related topics Ingredients Gum

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