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Adv Dent Res. 2012 Sep;24(2):117-22. doi: 10.1177/0022034512449835.

Clinical efficacy and effects of xylitol wipes on bacterial virulence.

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Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.


The aim of the study was to investigate whether xylitol-wipe use in young children prevented caries by affecting bacterial virulence. In a double-blinded randomized controlled clinical trial, 44 mother-child pairs were randomized to xylitol-wipe or placebo-wipe groups. Salivary mutans streptococci levels were enumerated at baseline, 6 months, and one year. Ten mutans streptococci colonies were isolated and genotyped from each saliva sample. Genotype-colonization stability, xylitol sensitivity, and biofilm formation of these isolates were studied. Despite a significant reduction in new caries at one year in the xylitol-wipe group, no significant differences were found between the two groups in levels of mutans streptococci. Children in the xylitol-wipe group had significantly fewer retained genotypes (p = 0.06) and more transient genotypes of mutans streptococci (p = 0.05) than those in the placebo-wipe group. At one year, there was no significant difference in the prevalence of xylitol-resistant genotypes or in biofilm formation ability of mutans streptococci isolates between the two groups. The mechanism of the caries-preventive effect of xylitol-wipe use may be related to the stability of mutans streptococci colonization. Further studies with genomic characterization methods are needed to determine specific gene(s) that account for the caries-preventive effect of xylitol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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