Xylitol and caries: the collaborative WHO oral disease preventive programme in Hungary.

A. Scheinin, J. Bánóczy

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The aim of this study was to assess the practical value of peroral xylitol at low to moderate dosage as a caries preventive measure. The trial was planned as a field study to test the feasibility of partial sucrose substitution in the relatively uniform conditions expected to occur in institutionalized children. The caries increment in the experimental group (X-group) was compared with the increments in other groups following the systemic administration of fluoride in milk or drinking water (F-group), and conventional dental treatment procedures alone (C-group). Conventional treatment was also provided for children in the X- and F-groups who used in an unsupervised manner a fluoride-containing dentifrice. The dentifrice used by the X-group also contained 10 per cent xylitol. The C-group used predominantly fluoride-free dentifrices. At baseline there were 990 children in the study. At the end of the 3-year study period there were 689 subjects. The caries scoring into four main categories was carried out yearly according to WHO criteria. The analysis of the data showed highly significant differences between the X-, F- and C-groups when measuring caries activity as the increment of DMF teeth and tooth surfaces, and also as the increment rate assessing the true caries incidence in a biostatistical sense. These results were obtained in conditions where caries prevalence and incidence continued to be high. The observations indicate that peroral xylitol has a cariostatic effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalInternational dental journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1985


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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