Effect of sugar alcohols on the composition and metabolism of a mixed culture of oral bacteria grown in a chemostat

David J. Bradshaw*, P. D. Marsh

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    56 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Xylitol and sorbitol are effective as non-cariogenic sugar substitutes. A number of studies suggest that xylitol may have an additional, caries-reducing effect. This study examines the effect of xylitol and sorbitol, when pulsed together with glucose, on the composition and metabolism of a mixed culture of oral bacteria grown in a chemostat. In this system, xylitol had the effect of reducing the rate and extent of acid production when pulsed with glucose, compared with glucose pulsed alone, enabling acid-sensitive species to persist in greater numbers. Furthermore, the enrichment of Streptococcus mu tans, observed following glucose pulses in the absence of pH control, was prevented by xylitol. In contrast, sorbitol had the opposite effects and S. mutans increased in proportion. The study provides evidence for a mechanism by which xylitol could affect the ecology of dental plaque and thereby reduce the rate of dental caries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)251-256
    Number of pages6
    JournalCaries Research
    Volume28
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1994

    Keywords

    • Acid production
    • Caries prevention
    • Glucose
    • Mixed cultures
    • Plaque ecology
    • Sorbitol
    • Streptococcus Mutans
    • Xylitol
    • pH

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