The use of xylitol as a strategy for prevention of dental caries
Keywords:dental caries, prevention, xylitol
AbstractDental 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.
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