New study suggests chewing one additional piece of sugar-free gum per day could reduce global dental expenditures from treating tooth decay by $4.1 billion a year
World-first data study in the American Journal of Dentistry builds on evidence to support the benefits of sugar-free gum in oral care
New Delhi 24, April 2017 – Increasing consumption of sugar-free chewing gum by just one piece per day could save billions of dollars worldwide on dental expenditures from treating tooth decay, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Dentistry on [DATE].1 The data is significant given tooth decay and oral diseases rank fourth among the most expensive global health conditions to treat, according to the World Health Organization.2 While tooth decay is largely preventable, it still affects 60-90% of schoolchildren and nearly all adults globally.2
The first-of-its-kind global study suggests that if current consumers of sugar-fee gum increase their consumption by just one extra piece per day as part of a complete oral hygiene routine, global dental expenditures from treating tooth decay could be reduced by US$4.1 billion a year.1 The data provides new insights that build on the extensive body of evidence supporting the benefits of chewing sugar-free gum in oral care.
The study was funded by Wrigley and conducted by specialist health economics research group, the Institute of Empirical Health Economics (IfEG), with input from an international scientific steering committee comprised of thought-leaders in dental and public health and economics.
“The study represents a solid and substantial approach to the accurate calculation of cost savings in industrial countries that would arise from increasing sugar-free gum consumption,” said Professor Reinhard Rychlik, MA MD, PhD, PhD, Director of the IfEG and the study’s lead author. “Chewing sugar-free gum as a preventive measure for tooth decay has the potential to deliver significant dental care cost savings worldwide.”
Gourinandan T Tonpe, Director, Innovation for Wrigley India and South East Asia Lead for Research & Development said,“Further to the potential reduction in global dental expenditures from treating tooth decay, the study found estimated cost savings of US$ 0.55 Million for India each year.” Current estimated costs of treating tooth decay in India are US$ 6,252,500,000.
Potential cost savings reach $2.07 billion a year in the U.S., representing nearly 3 percent of expenditures on treating tooth decay. Comparatively, potential cost savings could reach $1.1 billion a year in Europe and $149 million a year in China.1
“In addition to the well-established clinical benefits, for the first time, this study models the reduction in the relative risk of tooth decay and subsequent cost savings for dental care as a result of increased consumption of sugar-free gum as part of a complete oral hygiene routine. While further studies are needed, these are exciting new insights which add to the extensive body of evidence on the benefits of sugar-free gum in oral care.” said Michael Dodds, BDS, PhD., Wrigley’s lead oral health scientist.
Recognized Oral Health Benefits of Sugar-free Gum
Global rates of tooth decay continue to present a major public health concern – nearly all adults experience tooth decay2 – suggesting that new preventive strategies may be required to supplement existing measures in reducing the risk of tooth decay and improving oral health. The oral care benefits of chewing sugar-free gum are widely recognized and supported by various regulatory and governmental authorities,3,4 FDI World Dental Federation and nearly 20 national dental associations around the world. The growing body of evidence could support the inclusion of sugar-free gum in national oral healthcare advice, alongside other proven oral hygiene behaviours in future.
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