Utilization of xylitol as a preventive substance in dentistry
Keywords:Dental caries. Prevention. Xylitol
AbstractDental caries is an infectious-contagious disease of multifactorial origin, which requires interference in one or more of its etiologic factors for prevention. Within this context, the utilization of xylitol is highlighted, which was initially studied as a sugar substitute because of its similarity as regards the sweetening power and later was also employed in other forms for caries prevention and control. The purpose of this study is to describe, by means of a review of the specialized literature, how xylitol can be used as an anticariogenic agent, demonstrating its properties and possible mechanisms of action in the prevention and control of dental caries. Analysis of many studies on xylitol revealed that it is available in many forms: chewing gums or tablets, mouthrinses, or even associated to toothpastes. Its anticariogenic properties are related to the reduction in plaque adhesion, remineralization of incipient carious lesions, and specific reduction of S. mutans
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