Relationship between the age and salivary pH following sugar based and non-sugar based chewing gum usage among Nepalese school children
Aim: To compare the effect of chewing gums (sugar-based and sugar-free) in salivary pH of school children. Materials and Methods: A study was conducted on 444 school children of 4 different schools, which were randomly chosen in Kathmandu. The students groups were divided into sugar-free group (n= 222) and sugar-based group (n=222 and three subgroups i.e., 4-7years, 8-11 years and 12-15 years of age. The pH was measured with the Universal pH indicator at 5 minutes before meal, 10 minutes after the meal and 20 minutes after the meal followed by the chewing of chewing gum. The differences between groups were analyzed by Student’s T-test at the 5% level of significance. Results: The mean pH 5 minutes before meal, 10 minutes after meal and 20 minutes after meal followed by chewing of chewing gum in 4-7 years group was 6.81, 4.58, 9.05 (Sugar-free) and 9.19 (sugar-based), in 8-11 years group 6.92, 4.65, 9.37 (Sugar-free) and 9.42 (sugar-based) and in 12-15 years group 7.17, 5.13, 8.52 (Sugar-free) and 9.11 (sugar-based). It shows that, though after using chewing gums, the pH of saliva raised but statistically, there was no significant difference (p=0.061) between sugar-free and sugar-based chewing gum in different age groups. Conclusion: Even though, usage of chewing gums increased the salivary flow, there was no significant difference in different age groups after chewing sugar-free and sugar-based gum. So, both types of chewing gums may be used.
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