Topical oral syrup prevents early childhood caries

Jul 05, 2008

Dental researchers at the University of Washington have reported a significant reduction of tooth decay in toddlers who were treated with the topical syrup xylitol, a naturally occurring non-cavity-causing sweetener. Their results were presented today during the 86th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research.

In a recent clinical trial in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, children 6 to 15 months old were given oral doses of xylitol in fruit-flavored syrup daily to determine whether the substance can prevent early-childhood tooth decay, or "caries".

Researchers reported that nearly 76% of the children in the group who received xylitol were free of tooth decay by the end of the study, compared with 48% of the children in the group that did not receive the substance.

The Marshall Islands in the Pacific were chosen for the study because it is an area where childhood tooth decay is a serious public health problem. The average child entering Head Start at age 5 has 6.8 cavities—two to three times the rate in a typical mainland community. Researchers came from the Northwest/Alaska Center to Reduce Oral Health Disparities and the Department of Dental Public Health Sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Xylitol can be administered in the form of chewing gum, lozenges, or syrup. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved xylitol's use in food since 1963 and classifies the substance as safe.

According to researchers, at the end of the trial nearly 76% of the children in the study group were caries-free, compared with 48% in a comparable group that did not receive treatment.

Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol that is used as a sugar substitute.

Source: International & American Association for Dental Research

Explore further: Teen vaccinations up but HPV coverage remains low overall

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Social Security spent $300M on 'IT boondoggle'

5 hours ago

(AP)—Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims.

Cheaper wireless plans cut into AT&T 2Q profit

5 hours ago

(AP)—AT&T posted lower net income for the latest quarter due to cheaper cellphone plans it introduced as a response to aggressive pricing from smaller competitor T-Mobile US.

Awarded a Pell Grant? Better double-check

5 hours ago

(AP)—Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form.

Recommended for you

Teen vaccinations up but HPV coverage remains low overall

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—From 2012 to 2013, coverage for adolescents aged 13 to 17 years increased for all routinely recommended vaccinations. Increases ranged from 1.4 percentage points for at least one tetanus toxoid, ...

Medicare hospital fund to last 4 years longer

13 hours ago

(AP)—The government says Medicare's finances have improved. The program's hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030—four years later than last year's estimate.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

sheber
not rated yet Jul 06, 2008
Children used for experimentation with chemical products who can't agree to the research for themselves. Poor things.