Dental caries, the most chronic disease affecting mankind, has been in the limelight with regard to its prevention and treatment. Professional clinical management of caries has been very successful in cases of different severities of disease manifestations. However, tertiary management of this disease has been gaining attention, with numerous methods and agents emerging on a daily basis. Higher intake of nutritive sweeteners can result in higher energy intake and lower diet quality and thereby predispose an individual to conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disorders, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Non-nutritive sweeteners have gained popularity as they are sweeter and are required in substantially lesser quantities. Xylitol, a five-carbon sugar polyol, has been found to be promising in reducing dental caries disease and also reversing the process of early caries. This paper throws light on the role and effects of various forms of xylitol on dental caries and oral hygiene status of an individual.
Keywords: caries preventive effect; oral flora; xylitol.