Tooth-surface-specific effects of xylitol: Randomized trial results

A. V. Ritter, J. D. Bader, M. C. Leo, J. S. Preisser, D. A. Shugars, W. M. Vollmer, B. T. Amaechi, J. C. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Xylitol for Adult Caries Trial was a three-year, double-blind, multi-center, randomized clinical trial that evaluated the effectiveness of xylitol vs. placebo lozenges in the prevention of dental caries in caries-active adults. The purpose of this secondary analysis was to investigate whether xylitol lozenges had a differential effect on cumulative caries increments on different tooth surfaces. Participants (ages 21-80 yrs) with at least one follow-up visit (n = 620) were examined at baseline, 12, 24, and 33 months. Negative binomial and zero-inflated negative binomial regression models were used to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRR) for xylitol's differential effect on cumulative caries increments on root and coronal surfaces and, among coronal surfaces, on smooth (buccal and lingual), occlusal, and proximal surfaces. Participants in the xylitol arm developed 40% fewer root caries lesions (0.23 D2FS/year) than those in the placebo arm (0.38 D2FS/year; IRR = 0.60; 95% CI [0.44, 0.81]; p <.001). There was no statistically significant difference between xylitol and control participants in the incidence of smooth-surface caries (p =.100), occlusal-surface caries (p =.408), or proximal-surface caries (p =.159). Among these caries-active adults, xylitol appears to have a caries-preventive effect on root surfaces ( NCT00393055).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-517
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • caries data analysis
  • clinical trials
  • dental caries prevention
  • root caries
  • sugar substitutes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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