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The Military Gum Project

An image of sticks of gum

KSL, a protein, serves as an anti-adhesive and abrasive agent capable of breaking apart buildup on teeth and can be released from gum

The first priority of a Marine on the frontlines is to take care of their weapon. Unfortunately, this means hygiene may take a back seat and daily tasks like brushing and flossing teeth often become an afterthought.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky have found a possible solution to preserving the dental hygiene of deployed service members. The school’s College of Pharmacy has developed a gum that fights the buildup of plaque therefore preventing dental decay. The key is an antimicrobial, known as KSL, which serves as an anti-adhesive and abrasive agent capable of breaking apart buildup on teeth.
KSL is a protein that kills harmful germs by targeting the cell membranes of bacteria in the mouth.

One of the major hurdles with developing the gum was how the substance would be released. The goal was to have the KSL released slowly over a period of 20 to 30 minutes of chewing.

While the gum was developed with the military in mind, its use may spread far beyond the battlefield. Abeer Al-Ghananeem, the principal investigator of the project, says she hopes the gum can be used to promote dental hygiene in third world countries as well.

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  • Jacqueline Millick

    How may I purchase or order this gum, to send my son in the Marines?
    Thank you.

  • Lou Panebianco

    Would love to know how to purchase on the civilian marketplace. My daughter has a disability and this would help her in keeping teeth healthy.

    Always a Marine, just in a different uniform

  • Anthony Donato

    hope these are out when i join, i like gum

    Anthony Donato
    future Marine

  • Sgt Grizzlenuts

    Well, I guess no one told these guys Marines are not allowed to chew gum in uniform. Maybe they can make some Copenhagen Snuff that strengthens teeth and gums.

  • Ry

    Thats 5 gum. Are they in on the project or is it just a photo op? I’d like to see some gum like that from 5. they make good gum.