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17 November 2023

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Program (WOHP) partners with dental professionals worldwide, helping them improve their patients’ oral health through one additional simple 

  • and enjoyable step in their daily routine: c
  • hewing sugar-free gum after eating and drinking.

Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program calls on parents to be oral health role models this World Oral Health Day

5 April 2022


Since we helped FDI World Dental Federation launch the first World Oral Health Day in 2013, the WOHP has celebrated this key opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health and its significance in safeguarding general health and wellbeing. This year, FDI’s theme was ‘Be Proud of your Mouth for your happiness and wellbeing’, with oral health champions around the world taking part to emphasize that an unhealthy mouth can severely impact every aspect of life such as emotional, social, mental, and overall physical wellbeing.

Our campaign in 2022 focused on how we can reverse declining oral health habits. Research shows that during the COVID-19 pandemic, toothbrushing twice-a-day decreased among both parents and children, with the drop particularly noticeable in children. One in four children failed to brush twice a day[i] and fewer children had a dental exam in 2020 compared to 2019[ii]. With tooth decay currently affecting 60-90% of schoolchildren[iii], this year’s campaign encouraged parents to be oral care role models to their kids and suggested ways to make brushing more fun! Ideas included making brushing part of a family routine, turning brushing into a game, and rewarding good brushing with a piece of sugar-free gum. Chewing sugar-free gum helps prevent tooth decay by increasing the production of saliva – the body’s natural defense system for mouth and teeth. The benefits of chewing are recognized by regulatory bodies, governments, and dental associations around the world.

To learn more about World Oral Health Day, please click here.

[i] Unilever Oral care brands’ Global Research Summary Report 2021: Attitudes, Behaviours and Experiences of Oral Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic was conducted in November-December 2020 with 6,734 parents in 8 countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Ghana, and Vietnam.

[ii] Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. National Health Interview Survey 2020-21. US population.

[iii] World Health Organization.

Research by King’s College London shows that chewing sugar-free gum reduces the load of Streptococcus mutans in the oral cavity

29 April 2021


Scientists from King’s College London have conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials with adults and children. The review found that chewing sugar-free gum reduces the load of Streptococci mutans in the oral cavity.

Preventive strategies targeting Streptococcus mutans may be effective in reducing the global burden of caries. The aim of the systematic review was to determine the difference in level of Streptococcus mutans in adults and children who chew sugar-free gum, compared with those who did not chew gum, who chewed a control gum or received alternatives such as probiotics or fluoride varnish.

Thirteen studies of sugar-free gum with micro-organisms as outcomes were identified. The use of sugar-free gum significantly reduced the load of Streptococcus mutans compared to all controls. In seven of the 13 studies the confidence intervals of the effect size estimate included zero, suggesting no effect of the intervention. Twelve trials used xylitol gum only as the basis of the intervention; xylitol gum significantly reduced the load of Streptococcus mutans in comparison to all controls.

The study concluded that chewing sugar-free gum reduces the load of Streptococcus mutans in the oral cavity in comparison to non-chewing controls. Considering the degree of variability in the effect and the moderate quality of the trials included, there is a need for future research exploring the use sugar-free gum as a preventive measure for reducing the cariogenic oral bacterial load.

This research was made possible with support from the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program.

Research by King’s College London finds that people who chew sugar-free gum develop significantly less caries

19 November 2019


Scientists at the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences at King’s College London have published an article on the key outcomes of a systematic review and meta-analysis on the role of sugar-free chewing gum in dental caries. Published in the journal JDR Clinical and Translational Research, the systematic review shows that people who regularly chewed sugar free gum developed 28% less caries than those who did not.

The systematic review also found evidence that the impact of chewing sugar-free on the development of dental caries compares favorably to other preventative oral care interventions such as using fluoride toothpastes, using fluoride supplements, oral health education, and supervised tooth brushing.

This is the most robust systematic review on the topic conducted to date.

This research was made possible with support from the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program.

Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program attends World Dental Congress in San Francisco

8 September 2019


The Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program participated in the 2019 World Dental Congress in September. The Congress was co-hosted by the World Dental Federation (FDI) and the American Dental Association (ADA), and gathered over 30,000 dental professionals and industry leaders to advance the science and practice of oral health through a scientific program and trade exhibition.

At the congress, WOHP organized a scientific symposium on the benefits of chewing sugar-free gum on oral health, with presentations by Mike Dodds, Lead Oral Health Scientist at Mars Wrigley, and by two researchers from the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences at Kings College London. With around 300 participants, this symposium was the first external discussion of the results of a systematic review carried out by KCL – and sponsored by WOHP – that confirms the efficacy of sugar-free gum in maintaining oral health.

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WOHP Clinical Booklet

A clinical overview of the role of chewing sugar-free gum in oral healthcare.

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The latest research on sugar-free gum

Two recent systematic reviews published by King’s College have concluded that the regular use of polyol combination chewing gum leads to a reduction in dental caries and is an effective addition to oral health regimens.

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The latest news from WOHP

Read the latest news from the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program.

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