The magnolia is one of the oldest flowering tree types in the world. Magnolia bark contains polyphenols, which have been used for centuries by Chinese and Japanese medicine. Now, the magnolia bark chemicals have been proven to get rid of bad breath. Research printed in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that breath mints containing magnolia bark extract kill the majority of bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath within a half hour. Magnolia bark extract significantly improves oral health around the world, and may be beneficial if used in chewing gum.
The mouth is an ideal environment for the bacteria that causes bad breath–especially four species of bacteria: Veilonella alcalescens, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Bacteroides melaninogenicus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. These bacteria feed on food remains, dead cells, and other chemicals in the mouth, and in the process of their feeding, they release foul-smelling gases. This putrefaction can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Regular chewing gum tends to only guard against these bacteria for a short period of time, and anti-bacterial products tend to have negative effects like tooth staining. A team conducted a research project where they tested the power of a mint with and without the magnolia bark extract. Without the extract, the mint destroyed just 3.6% of the bacteria, and with the extract, 61% of the bacteria was killed.
Furthermore, the extract has also been found to be useful for guarding against cavity-causing bacteria.