The effect of chewing stick use on oral hygiene and gingival health of young adults in Nigeria


  • Agnes O. UMOH Department of Periodontics, University of Benin , Benin-City, Nigeria
  • Osayamen Sheriffe IGUNMA Department of Periodontics, University of Benin, Benin-City, Nigeria
  • Clement Chinedu AZODO Department of Periodontics, University of Benin, Benin-City, Nigeria


Chewing stick, effect, gingival health, Toothbrush


Objective: The maintenance of good oral hygiene contributes to gingiva health.  Several items have been used for mechanical removal of plague, examples of which are the chewing stick and toothbrush. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of using chewing stick to maintain gingival health.

Methods: A randomised, single blind, (clinical investigator) experimental study was conducted among 40 persons (20 chewing stick group and 20 toothbrush and toothpaste group). Data was collected through the use of interviewer-administered questionnaire and clinical examination. Evaluation of the effect on gingival health were done 3weeks and 6weeks after the baseline treatment (Scaling and polishing and oral hygiene instruction with emphasis on the use of toothbrush or chewing stick depending on which group

Results: The mean age of participants in the study was 21.58±2.43years. Participants in chewing stick group had significantly higher oral hygiene score than toothbrush group at 3 weeks post intervention only (P=0.03). The chewing stick group and toothbrush group did not have any significant difference in mean gingival index score at both 3 weeks and 6weeks post intervention stages

Conclusion: Chewing stick use resulted in poorer oral hygiene in the initial assessment but improved at second assessment. Chewing stick use resulted in lower non-significant positive effect on gingival health in comparison with toothbrush/toothpaste use. Dentists in resource poor economy should not discourage the use of chewing stick but rather educate users on the proper use of it, since it is cost effective