Cavity-fighting Sweetener Helps Adults
June 5, 2013
By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service
INTELIHEALTH - Xylitol reduces the risk of root decay in adults' teeth, a study has found.
The study was called the Xylitol for Adult Caries Trial, or X-ACT. It focused on xylitol, a natural sweetener that has been found to reduce tooth decay in children. "Caries" is another term for tooth decay.
There were 620 adults who completed the 3-year trial. They were randomly assigned to receive either xylitol lozenges or placebo ones. Neither the researchers nor the people in the study knew who was getting which type of lozenge.
Adults who used xylitol had a 40% fewer cavities in the roots of their teeth than those who got the placebo. A tooth's roots are normally covered by the gums. In many older adults, the gums recede, which exposes the roots.
There were no differences between the groups in the number of cavities on other surfaces of the teeth.
The study appears in the June issue of the Journal of Dental Research.