New Study Suggests Chewing Gum Could Cut NHS Dental Spending

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A new study has suggested that chewing gum could save the NHS millions of pounds each year. The research claims that more than £8 million could be saved annually if all 12-year-olds chewed sugar free gum after they eat or drink.

The study, which was carried out by researchers at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, has been published in the British Dental Journal and suggests that chewing three pieces of gum per day could help to reduce rates of decay significantly. The financial saving equates to the cost of more than 360,000 check-ups per year.

The research claims that chewing one piece of gum per day could contribute to savings of £2.8 million per year and this rises to £3.3 million for two pieces and £8.2 million for 3 pieces of gum per day.

Professor Liz Kay from the Peninsula Dental School said the findings of the study are “hugely exciting” as they represent a simple and inexpensive way of improving oral health and reducing NHS dental spending. Professor Kay also suggested that it was even more exciting to consider the possible impact on the UK population as a whole, as this research relates to 12 year olds.

Research shows that chewing gum helps to reduce the risk of dental decay because it stimulates saliva production, which neutralises oral acids, washes way debris and cleanses the mouth.

The researchers were supported by The Wrigley Company and were eager to emphasise that chewing gum should not replace brushing and suggested chewing gum after eating main meals.

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