Title: Effects of maltitol and xylitol chewing-gums on parameters involved in dental caries development
Abstract: Aim The effects on plaque parameters of sugar free chewing-gums (CG) sweetened with either maltitol or xylitol were assessed to better understand the role polyols can play in dental caries prevention.
Materials and methods A double-blind, parallel, randomised, controlled study was conducted in China. Subjects (N = 258, age = 13 to 15 years-old) were divided into 4 groups: 2 receiving polyols CG, containing respectively maltitol or xylitol, a group receiving gum base (placebo) and a negative control group not receiving any gum. CG were chewed for 30 days. This corresponds to a 10 g consumption of polyol per day. Plaque parameters (growth, pH, bacteria and insoluble glucans) were evaluated throughout the experimental period.
Results All parameters studied were significantly modified with gum base compared to no-gum: plaque pH increased; plaque growth, bacteria (S. mutans, S. sobrinus, A. viscosus and Lactobacillus) and insoluble glucans decreased. Maltitol and xylitol CG led similarly to a higher plaque pH (AUC, p≤0.05) on short (at baseline after the first CG consumption) and long term (after 4 weeks of daily CG consumption), with or without saliva stimulation compared to both control and placebo groups. They led to a decrease in plaque growth (p=0.02) over the experimental period compared to controls. Moreover, they significantly reduced the concentration of 4 cariogenic bacteria species (p≤0.05) in dental plaque compared to gum base.
Conclusion Sugar free CG sweetened with either maltitol or xylitol can similarly reduce plaque acidogenicity compared to gum base through a decrease in oral bacteria presence. The use of a gum base placebo allowed to isolate effects on parameters involved in dental caries development specific to maltitol and xylitol, and to show these effects were similar.