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J Dent. 2013 Dec;41(12):1236-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2013.09.007. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Effect of three-year consumption of erythritol, xylitol and sorbitol candies on various plaque and salivary caries-related variables.

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Department of Stomatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, Estonia. Electronic address:



The objective of the present paper is to report results from oral biologic studies carried out in connection with a caries study.


Samples of whole-mouth saliva and dental plaque were collected from initially 7- to 8-year-old subjects who participated in a 3-year school-based programme investigating the effect of the consumption of polyol-containing candies on caries rates. The subjects were randomized in three cohorts, consumed erythritol, xylitol, or sorbitol candies. The daily polyol consumption from the candies was approximately 7.5 g.


A significant reduction in dental plaque weight from baseline (p<0.05) occurred in the erythritol group during almost all intervention years while no changes were found in xylitol and sorbitol groups. Usage of polyol candies had no significant or consistent effect on the levels of plaque protein, glucose, glycerol, or calcium, determined yearly in connection with caries examinations. After three years, the plaque of erythritol-receiving subjects contained significantly (p<0.05) lower levels of acetic acid and propionic acid than that of subjects receiving xylitol or sorbitol. Lactic acid levels partly followed the same pattern. The consumption of erythritol was generally associated with significantly (p<0.05) lower counts of salivary and plaque mutans streptococci compared with the other groups. There was no change in salivary Lactobacillus levels.


Three-year consumption of erythritol-containing candies by initially 7- to 8-year old children was associated with reduced plaque growth, lower levels of plaque acetic acid and propionic acid, and reduced oral counts of mutans streptococci compared with the consumption of xylitol or sorbitol candies.



Biofilm; Children; Clinical trial; Dental plaque; Saliva; Sugar alcohol

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