Comparison of the effect of chewing mastic and spearmint sugar-free chewing gum on salivary flow rate and pH

Document Type : Original Article


1 Professor, Department of Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist, Kerman, Iran

4 Resident, Department of Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Hyposalivation can cause many difficulties for patients like opportunistic infections such as candidiasis, mouth sores, and dysphagia as well as reduced quality of life (QOL). Methods such as using sugar-free chewing gum are recommended to treat this complication. Mastic is a natural substance and since it has various properties in addition to increasing salivary flow rate, it can reduce oral complications of patients suffering from xerostomia. In the present study, a comparison was made on the effect of chewing mastic and spearmint sugar-free chewing gum on saliva flow rate and pH.
METHODS: This was a single blind interventional clinical study carried out on 26 healthy individuals (10 men and 16 women). Simple non-probability sampling method was used to select the subjects. Initially, unstimulating saliva was collected and then all subjects were asked to chew Parafilm, mastic, and spearmint sugar-free chewing gum with a randomized order and in a 15-minute interval. Salivary flow rate was estimated by dividing the amount of the collected saliva (weight or volume) by the sample collection period (5 minutes). Saliva pH was measured by a manual pH meter. Data were analyzed using SPSS software by t-test.
RESULTS: A total of 26 volunteers (10 men and 16 women) participated in this study, with a mean age of 23.5 years. The saliva flow rate and pH after chewing mastic (the main substance in this study) were not significantly different from those after consuming the chewing gum (P > 0.050). Mastic and chewing gum increased the salivary flow rate significantly compared to Parafilm (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The results showed that mastic and sugar-free chewing gum could increase salivary flow rate and pH. Due to the flavor and high price of sugar-free chewing gum, mastic can be recommended instead of sugar-free chewing gums.


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