Sugar alcohol sweeteners as alternatives to sugar with special consideration of xylitol.
- Kauko K Mäkinen
- Medical principles and practice : international…
Dental caries is a major oral health problem found in populations of all age groups. It is initiated by direct demineralization of the enamel of teeth due to acids produced by bacteria. Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) and Lactobacillus spp. are known by their acidogenic and aciduric properties, more than those of other oral bacteria. They have been shown to have cariogenic potential in both humans and animals. Candida albicans (C. albicans), dimorphic fungi, are common colonizers of carious lesions found in children and adolescents. Candida can adhere, co-aggregate with oral bacteria and have ability to produce acid from sugar. The frequency of intake of sugar-containing foods was found to be related to the development of dental caries. In this regard, sucrose is considered the most cariogenic sugar. It has been reported that the restriction of sucrose from foodstuffs results in the reduction of dental caries. One promising way of reducing caries is the substitution of other sweetening substances for sucrose. Trehalulose and palatinose are structural isomers of sucrose commonly used as sucrose substitutes. It has been demonstrated that these sucrose isomers are not utilized by S. mutans as substrate to produce acid[ 5]. Apart from sucrose isomers, sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol are used worldwide in a great number of sugar-free products, particularly chewing gums and lozenges, and claimed to have low or non-cariogenic properties. The purpose of this study was to examine acid production of caries-associated selected strains of oral microorganisms and salivary microorganisms from sugar and sugar substitutes.