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Adv Dent Res. 2018 Feb;29(1):110-116. doi: 10.1177/0022034517736498.

Rebalancing the Caries Microbiome Dysbiosis: Targeted Treatment and Sugar Alcohols.

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1 Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Department of Orofacial Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Dental caries is a disease that results from microbiome dysbiosis with the involvement of multiple cariogenic species, including mutans streptococci (MS), lactobacilli, Scardovia wiggsiae, and several Actinomyces species that have the cariogenic traits of acid production and acid tolerance. Sugar consumption also plays an important role interacting with microbiome dysbiosis, determining the fate of caries development. In addition, the MS transmission that encompasses multiple sources can have long-term impacts on the oral microbiome and caries development in children. Intervention in MS transmission in early childhood may promote effective long-term caries prevention. Anticaries regimens aimed against the above mechanisms will be important for successful caries management. Xylitol and erythritol may serve as good components of anticaries regimens as oral microbiome modifiers, sugar substitutes, and agents to prevent MS transmission in early childhood with both oral and systemic benefits. Further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanism of the anticaries effects of xylitol and erythritol with consideration of their impacts on the microbiome and bacterial virulence, in addition to cariogenic bacteria levels as well as their benefits for overall health. On the other hand, the anticaries agent C16G2, specifically targeting Streptococcus mutans, the most common cariogenic bacterial species, has shown good safety for short-term oral topical use and promising effects in reducing S. mutans in vitro and in vivo with the promotion of oral commensal bacteria. Future study on its anticaries effect will need to include its long-term impact on the oral microbiome and effects on other important cariogenic bacteria.


antibacterial agents; bacterial virulence; caries detection/diagnosis/prevention; caries treatment; infectious disease(s); microbial ecology

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