Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Composition of Plaque and Saliva Following Use of an Α-tricalcium Phosphate-Containing Chewing Gum and a Subsequent Sucrose Challenge



Gerald L. Vogel, Z Zhang, Clifton M. Carey, A K. Ly, Laurence C. Chow, H M. Proskin


Previous studies demonstrated that chewing of a 2.5% (mass fraction) α-tricalcium phosphate-fortified (a-TCP) experimental chewing gum released sufficient calcium and phosphate to eliminate any fall in the tooth mineral saturation of plaque fluid after a sucrose rinse (Vogel et al., 1998). In contrast, the chewing of a conventional sugar-free gum did not eliminate this decrease in saturation. The purpose of this study was to examine if the release of ions from plaque calcium phosphate pools induced by this gum could provide protection during subsequent exposure to cariogenic conditions. Fourteen subjects accumulated plaque for 48 hours, fasted overnight, chewed a control or experimental gum for 15 min, and subsequently rinsed 1 min with a mass fraction 10% sucrose solution. Before gum chewing, at 7 min at 15 min afterward, whole plaque, plaque fluid and salivary samples were obtained and analyzed by micro analytical techniques. Additional samples were collected and analyzed at 25 min (7 min after the sucrose rinse). Although the results confirmed the deposition of large amounts of calcium and phosphates in plaque seen in the previous study, only a small increase was seen in plaque-fluid-free calcium and phosphate before sucrose administration. This suggests that few of the mineral ions were mobilized under non-cariogenic conditions. However, 7 min after the sucrose rinsing, an increase in these concentrations was seen which, based on hydroxyapaptite ion activity product calculations, indicated a decrease in the driving force for demineralization compared with that seen with the control gum. These results suggest that the chewing of the experimental gum deposits a labile mineral reservoir in plaque that can resist a subsequent cariogenic challenges.
Journal of Dental Research
No. 1


caries, enamel-saturation, gums, plaque, saliva


Vogel, G. , Zhang, Z. , Carey, C. , Ly, A. , Chow, L. and Proskin, H. (2000), Composition of Plaque and Saliva Following Use of an Α-tricalcium Phosphate-Containing Chewing Gum and a Subsequent Sucrose Challenge, Journal of Dental Research, [online], (Accessed May 29, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created January 1, 2000, Updated February 17, 2017