XYLITOL ON DENTAL CARIES: A REVIEW
Xylitol is a pentahydroxy sugar-alcohol which exists in a very low quantity in fruits and vegetables (plums, strawberries, cauliflower, and pumpkin). On commercial scale, xylitol can be produced by chemical and biotechnological processes. Chemical production is costly and extensive in purification steps. The precursor xylose is produced from agricultural biomass by chemical and enzymatic hydrolysis and can be converted to xylitol primarily by yeast strain. Hydrolysis under acidic condition is the more commonly used practice influenced by various process parameters. Biotechnological xylitol production is an integral process of microbial species belonging to Candida genus which is influenced by various process parameters such as pH, temperature; time, nitrogen source, and yeast extract level. It is a functional sweetener as it has prebiotic effects which can reduce blood glucose, triglyceride, and cholesterol level. Dental caries is an infectious microbiologic disease of the tooth that results in localized dissolution and destruction of calcified tissues. Xylitol has been shown to reduce dental caries when mixed with food, chewing gums and milk. Dental caries are prevalent in acidic pH where Streptoccocus mutans (MS) ferment resulting in demineralization of tooth, where as Streptococcus mutans cannot ferment xylitol thus it reduces MS by altering their metabolic pathway and enhance remineralization and helps arrest dentinal caries. Reduction in caries rate is greater, when xylitol is used as the sugar substitutes. This review discusses the taste acceptability of xylitol in milk as a step towards measuring the effectiveness for the reduction of dental caries.
Keywords: Xylitol, Carbohydrates, Caries, Remineralisation, Demineralization, Streptoccocus mutans
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