Scientists create chewing gum that can diagnose dental disease

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 16th August 2017

Scientists have created a chewing gum that can diagnose dental disease.

Reported in Issue 8 of the Nature Communications Journal, German scientists developed the gum to detect inflammation caused by dental implants. The gum is described as a simple “anyone, anywhere, anytime” approach to identifying dental inflammation.

Lead researcher, Lorenz Meinel, and colleagues, developed a biosensor for detecting peri-implant disease that produces a bitter taste to indicate a positive diagnosis. The sensor is bound into another compound and embed into a chewing gum which is tasteless in healthy patients.

If a patient has inflammation caused by an implant, the production of specific enzymes will begin when the gum is chewed, creating the bitter taste.

The gum has yet to be tested on volunteers in a clinical setting but has been tested on a “artificial tongue”.

If successfully tested in a clinical setting, the researchers say the chewing gum could remove the need for complex kits and expert intervention when it comes to diagnosing inflammation caused by dental implants.

The researchers said in the future the gum could possibly be suitable for either dental surgeries and personal use.


Related articles