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The Science

The economic benefits of chewing

In April 2017, the American Journal of Dentistry published a paper entitled “A global approach to assess the economic benefits of increased consumption of sugar-free chewing gum”, which suggests that chewing one additional piece of sugar-free gum per day, as part of a complete oral hygiene routine, could reduce the global dental expenditures from treating tooth decay by $4.1 billion a year.1 For the first time, an economic model has been used to analyze the impact of increasing the average consumption of sugar-free gum on dental expenditures due to caries by the national healthcare systems in 25 industrialized countries.

Funded by Wrigley, the research was undertaken by a specialist health economics research group, the Institute of Empirical Health Economics (IfEG), with input from an international scientific steering committee comprised of thought-leaders in dental and public health, and economics:

  • Hanny Calache, PhD, MDSc, Centre for Population Health Research, Deakin University, Australia
  • Franklin Garcia-Godoy, DDS, MS, PhD, phD, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, USA
  • Elizabeth Kay, BDS, MPH, PhD, Foundation Dean, Peninsula Dental School, Plymouth University, UK
  • Yan Si, PhD, Department of Preventive Dentistry, Peking University School and Hospital of Stomatology, China
  • David Zilberman, PhD, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, USA
  • Stefan Zimmer, DDS, MPHD, PhD, Department for Dental, Oral and Craniomandibular Sciences, Witten/Herdecke University, Germany

Tooth decay remains one of the most common chronic diseases worldwide and whilst largely preventable, ranks fourth among the most expensive global health conditions to treat.2  While further studies are needed, this new data provides compelling insights into the potential health economic benefits of chewing at a national and global level, adding to the extensive body of evidence on the benefits of chewing sugar-free gum in oral care.

At Wrigley, we’ve been researching the oral health benefits of chewing gum for more than 90 years. Today, we remain committed to research in this area to understand the science behind oral health and chewing, and help people around the world improve their oral health.

Download Infographic (PDF) and Economic Benefits Study (PDF).

  1. Rychlik R, Kreimendahl F, Blaich C et al: A global approach to assess the economic benefits of increased consumption of sugar-free chewing gum. Am J Dent 2017. 30:2;77-83.
  2. World Health Organization. What is the burden of oral disease? Available at: http://www.who.int/oral_health/disease_burden/global/en/. Last accessed March 2017.
WOHP

WOHP

WOHP has supported independent clinical research into the benefits of chewing gum for more than 25 years.

Economic benefits of chewing

Economic benefits of chewing

Global health economic data suggests that increasing sugar-free gum consumption could reduce global dental expenditures from treating tooth decay by US$4.1 billion a year. Download Infographic (PDF) and Economic Benefits Study (PDF)

The Science

The Science

Independent research supported by Wrigley funding has continued to have an impact on the oral care arena for nearly 90 years.