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J Am Dent Assoc. 2006 Feb;137(2):190-6.

The use of sorbitol- and xylitol-sweetened chewing gum in caries control.

Author information

  • Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 109 Observatory St., Ann Arbor, Mich. 48109-2029, USA. bburt@umich.edu

Erratum in

  • J Am Dent Assoc. 2006 Apr;137(4):447.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The author compared the caries-inhibitory action of sorbitol- and xylitol-sweetened chewing gum and assessed the role of these products in caries prevention.

TYPES OF STUDIES REVIEWED:

The author reviewed studies including randomized field trials with substantial numbers of participants and observational studies. He did not review case studies. He found studies through a MEDLINE search and by hand searching.

RESULTS:

When compared with sugar-sweetened gum, sorbitol-sweetened gum had low cariogenicity [corrected] when it was chewed no more than three times per day. Xylitol-sweetened gum was noncariogenic in all of the protocols tested. Some studies claimed that xylitol-sweetened gum had an anticariogenic effect, though these claims need further study. There also is good evidence that when mothers of infants and young children chew xylitol-sweetened gum, it will block transmission of mutans streptococci from mother to child.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

The evidence is strong enough to support the regular use of xylitol-sweetened gum as a way to prevent caries, and it can be promoted as a public-health preventive measure. Chewing xylitol-sweetened gum, especially for patients who like chewing gum, can be fitted readily into a regimen that includes frequent fluoride exposure, good oral hygiene and regular dental appointments.

PMID:
16521385
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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