This was a prospective, randomised placebo-controlled study aiming to evaluate the effect of xylitol and probiotics on salivary bacilli. 80 healthy young adults aged 21-24 years were included and divided into 4 groups (4×20).

The study products were: One probiotic chewing gum containing Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis (ATCC 55730 and ATCC PTA 5289, 1×10^8 CFU of each strain) three times daily (Group A); 2 pieces of xylitol chewing gum three times daily (Group B); 2 xylitol gums in the morning + 2 probiotic chewing gums mid-day +2 xylitol chewing gums in the evening (Group C); and 3 placebo chewing gums per day. Dosing continued for three weeks and salivary samples for Streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli assessment were collected on day 0 before treatment start and again after three weeks.

There were no differences between the groups before and after treatment regarding lactobacilli load. For Groups C and D there were no changes in strep mutans score before and after treatment. However, the strep mutans score was significantly improved in both Group A and B.


Fig. 1 Transition of salivary mutans streptococci scores when posttreatment levels were compared with the baseline in the different experimental groups. Decreased scores=1–3 steps under baseline; unchanged score = same as baseline; increased score = 1 step over baseline. The distribution in group D (control) was significantly different (p<0.05) from the distributions in groups A–C

Conclusion: The results suggest that a three-week consumption of either 3 Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis chewing gums or 6 xylitol chewing gums can reduce the load of mutans streptococci.



Caglar E, Kavaloglu SC, Kuscu OO, Sandalli N, Holgerson PL, Twetman S. Effect of chewing gums containing xylitol or probiotic bacteria on salivary mutans streptococci and lactobacilli. Clin Oral Invest. 2007;11:425-429.

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