- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 12, 2005

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Army and civilian scientists are working to develop chewing gum for combat soldiers who are too busy to brush.

The gum, described at this week’s American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists convention, would contain a special bacteria-fighting agent to prevent plaque, cavities and gum disease.

Soldiers in the field often don’t have the time or the means to brush and floss. Beyond that, the stress of combat can encourage bacterial growth in the mouth, said Col. Dennis Runyan, commander of the Army Dental and Trauma Research Detachment in Great Lakes, Ill.

Gum was considered an ideal solution because the Army already issues gum to soldiers in their field rations.

Dr. Patrick DeLuca, a University of Kentucky drug-product developer, is working to perfect the prototype, trying to make it taste better and ensure its bacteria-fighting ability and flavor for up to an hour.

If the Army decides to go ahead with the idea, it will probably team up with a manufacturer to produce the gum.

The Army has been talking to such companies as Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., the maker of Juicy Fruit, Col. Runyan said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide