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Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry

Edited by Prof. Dr. Jean-François Roulet, Prof. Dr. Dr. Niklaus P. Lang, Prof. Dr. Palle Holmstrup

Official journal of the Academy of Minimally Invasive Dentistry, the World Congress of Microdentistry, and the European Society of Preventive Dentistry

ISSN (print) 1602-1622 • ISSN (online) 1757-9996


Winter 2007
Volume 5 , Issue 4

Pages: 313-319
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Decreased Salivary Uptake of [14C]-Xylitol after a Four-week Xylitol Chewing Gum Regimen

Holgerson, Pernilla Lif / Sjöström, Inger / Twetman, Svante

Purpose: The aims were to evaluate a simple method to disclose a microbial shift in saliva and to investigate the short- and long-term effects of daily use of xylitol-containing chewing gums on mutans streptococci (MS) and [14C]-xylitol uptake in saliva. Materials and Methods: In a pilot set-up, saliva samples were collected from 15 healthy adults and the uptake of xylitol was compared with a specific assay determining xylitol-sensitive MS. The main study consisted of 109 schoolchildren (mean age 9.9 years) who volunteered after informed consent. The children were randomly allocated to a test or control group. The control group was given two pellets containing sorbitol and maltitol 3 times daily for 4 weeks and the test group received identical pellets with xylitol as single sweetener (total dose 6.2 g/day). Saliva samples were collected at baseline, after 4 weeks and 6 months after the intervention. The outcome measures were MS and total viable counts, proportion of MS and salivary uptake of [14C]-xylitol. Results: The pilot study disclosed a fair positive correlation (p < 0.05) between the assays. The proportions of MS and salivary xylitol uptake decreased significantly in the xylitol group by 60% and 30% respectively after 4 weeks compared to baseline which was in contrast to the sorbitol/maltitol group (p < 0.05). Six months after the intervention, the outcome measures did not differ significantly from baseline in any of the groups. Conclusion: A relatively high daily dose of xylitol could alter salivary microbial composition during the intervention period but no long-term impact was observed.

Keywords: chewing gum, mutans streptococci, oral microflora, saliva, xylitol

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