The release of vitamin C from chewing gum and its effects on supragingival calculus formation

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The aims of this study were to evaluate (i): whether vitamin C in chewing gum, alone or in combination with carbamide, influences calculus formation, and (ii) whether carbamide affects the release, stability and uptake of vitamin C in a chewing gum. In two test series (Series I and II), 30 subjects, all calculus formers, participated. They were instructed to chew on five (Series I) or 10 (Series II) pieces of gum per day for a period of 3 months. The chewing gums were: vitamin C (60 mg, Series I), non-vitamin C (Series I) and vitamin C + carbamide (30 mg + 30 mg, Series II). In both series, no gum was used as a negative control. Calculus formation was scored on three lingual sites on the six anterior mandibular teeth according to the Volpe–Manhold index. The effect on plaque and gingivitis was also determined. A significant reduction in the total calculus score was observed after the use of vitamin C (33%) and vitamin C + carbamide (12%) gums compared with no gum use; this reduction was most pronounced in the heavy calculus formers. A reduced amount of visible plaque was also observed after use of vitamin C and non-vitamin C gum, but only the vitamin C gum reduced the number of bleeding sites (37%). In a separate study, the release, stability and uptake of vitamin C were evaluated using the iodine titration method in both saliva and urine after exposure to the following gums: vitamin C + carbamide (30 mg + 30 mg) and vitamin C (30 mg). There was no indication that carbamide affected the release, stability or uptake of vitamin C when used in a chewing gum.

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