Much of the available evidence indicates that xylitol has antibacterial properties that can improve the oral flora, but its caries-preventive effects are less well-supported. The conflicting findings may result from poor study designs, inappropriate study groups, outcome measure differences, and insufficient levels of xylitol being tested. Well-designed double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trials with caries as the endpoint and focus on appropriate populations are needed, along with consideration of the health versus economics impact.Clinical Significance

Right now, xylitol seems to be most appropriately considered an adjunct measure for targeted individuals. It cannot be recommended as a public health measure as yet. Furthermore, carefully designed and conducted studies are required to determine what role it will ultimately play.

Source: Dental Abstracts
Volume 55, Issue 1, January-February 2010, Pages 13-14

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