Evidence shows that people infected with SARS-CoV-2 have high levels of the virus in their saliva. For this reason, American scientists wanted to investigate whether a specially designed chewing gum could reduce the amount of the virus in the mouth and thus potentially limit its spread.
Gum that positively affects oral health is not a new idea. According to previous studies, chewing gums containing substances such as calcium and bicarbonate can improve the health of the oral cavity by reducing dental discomfort and reducing the number of harmful bacteria. However, targeting the coronavirus in this way is a novel approach.
SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells by attaching to the ACE2 proteins found on the surface of certain cells in our body. Scientists therefore produced a gum containing high levels of ACE2 proteins found in plants, assuming that these proteins in chewing gum could “trap” virus particles in the mouth, reducing the possibility of our cells becoming infected and spreading to other people.