Does consuming xylitol-containing products help prevent dental caries?

From the systematic review {1}, the effect is quite inconclusive:

We found some low quality evidence to suggest that fluoride toothpaste containing xylitol may be more effective than fluoride-only toothpaste for preventing caries in the permanent teeth of children, and that there are no associated adverse-effects from such toothpastes. The effect estimate should be interpreted with caution due to high risk of bias and the fact that it results from two studies that were carried out by the same authors in the same population. The remaining evidence we found is of low to very low quality and is insufficient to determine whether any other xylitol-containing products can prevent caries in infants, older children, or adults.

Have more recent studies shared a clearer light on to what extent, if any, consuming xylitol-containing products help prevent dental caries? (or have any other positive effect on one's dental health)


  • 1
    @LangLangC I wanted to stay general as I don't really mind how to consume / use xylitol if it is helpful. Do you think it is too broad? If so I can break down into different questions. Nov 5 '18 at 9:52
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    @LangLangC Looking at the queries used in the systematic review (cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD010743.pub2/…), they don't seem to have restricted their RCT search to toothpaste. I guess the only decent RCT they could find was on toothpaste :( Nov 5 '18 at 10:02
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    Do you mean xylitol as a sweetener replacement for sugar? The answer to that is definitely, yes.
    – Narusan
    Nov 5 '18 at 10:48
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    There are actually 2 questions in your question. 1. Does toothpaste with xylitol helps to prevent caries? If yes, this would be additional active prevention as opposed to "normal" toothpaste. 2. Do sweets with xylitol prevent caries, assuming they are consumed instead of sweets with sugar? This could be then either active prevention or just lack of side effect of sugar. So, I suggest you ask only 1 question or separate them clearly. There are some studies that say xylitol is preventative, but the whole picture is still not convincing...
    – Jan
    Nov 5 '18 at 15:39
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    Thanks I meant taking xylitol (e.g., in toothpaste, gums, etc.) instead of nothing. I'm not interested in comparing against sugar. Nov 5 '18 at 19:06

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