Cariologic aspects of xylitol and its use in chewing gum: a review

Acta Odontol Scand. 1994 Apr;52(2):116-27. doi: 10.3109/00016359409029065.


Several studies indicate that xylitol is not metabolized to acids either in pure cultures of oral microorganisms in vitro or in dental plaque in vivo. Chronic consumption of xylitol-sweetened chewing gum resulted in reduction of dental plaque, suppression of mutans streptococci, and reduced adhesiveness of plaque. So far, four field studies with regimens including chewing gum and other xylitol-containing products and four clinical trials have been carried out. All of the latter studies showed that a daily intake of two to three pieces of xylitol gum resulted in a defined reduction of caries. There are indications that regular and prolonged use of xylitol chewing gum may have a caries-preventive effect.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Cariostatic Agents / metabolism
  • Cariostatic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cariostatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chewing Gum*
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Dental Plaque / metabolism
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Xylitol / metabolism
  • Xylitol / pharmacology*
  • Xylitol / therapeutic use


  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Chewing Gum
  • Xylitol