The use of xylitol as a strategy for prevention of dental caries

  • Thiago Cruvinel Silva Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru - USP
  • Agnes Fátima Faustino Pereira Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru - USP
  • Maria Aparecida Andrade Moreira Machado Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru
  • Marília Afonso Rabelo Buzalaf Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru - USP
Keywords: dental caries, prevention, xylitol

Abstract

Dental caries is a multifactorial disease, which depends on the fermentation of carbohydrates by microorganisms of the dental biofilm. Xylitol is a sugar-alcohol, which cannot be fermented by oral cariogenic bacteria. This article aimed to review the literature on the use of xylitol for prevention of dental caries. There is little conclusive scientific evidence about this subject, although several studies have been performed. The development of products and clinical protocols should be based on studies with sound experimental design, which will permit the understanding of clinical and laboratorial parameters, such as mecanisms of action, vehicles of delivery, dose-response effects, and frequency of use of the polyol. Clarification of the potential and limitations of the use of xylitol for prevention of dental caries would help clinicians to select preventive protocols more efficient and cost-effective for specific groups.

Author Biographies

Thiago Cruvinel Silva, Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru - USP
Mestre em Odontopediatria. Departamento de Odontopediatria, Ortodontia e Saúde Coletiva da Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru - USP
Agnes Fátima Faustino Pereira, Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru - USP
Mestre em Saúde Coletiva. Departamento de Ciências Biológicas da Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru - USP
Maria Aparecida Andrade Moreira Machado, Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru
Professora Associada do Departamento de Odontopediatria, Ortodontia e Saúde Coletiva da Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru - USP
Marília Afonso Rabelo Buzalaf, Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru - USP
Professora titular do Departamento de Ciências Biológicas da Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru - USP
Published
2009-03-17
Section
Literature Review