Effects of short-term xylitol chewing gum on pro-inflammatory cytokines
and Streptococcus mutans: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial
Introduction: Dental caries is an infectious disease with predominantly
of cariogenic bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). Xylitol
is considered as one of the effective agents that can limit this dental
infection. In this randomized, placebo-controlled trial, we aimed to
evaluate the potential reflection of short-term xylitol consumption on
pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-, IL-6 and IL-8) and S. mutans counts
by ELISA and qPCR (Quantitative real-time PCR), respectively. Methods:
In this study, 154 participants were assigned to two groups, control and
xylitol. Dental examination, saliva and swab samples were done at
baseline and at 3-week for clinical and microbiological assessment.
Results: In xylitol group at the end of 3-week, gingival and plaque
index scores were significantly decreased with respect to baseline
values (p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively). The
salivary concentration of TNF-, IL-6 and IL-8 were statistically
declined at 3-week, more so than those at baseline in xylitol group
(p<0.001). S. mutans expression was reduced about 5-fold at
3-week use of xylitol and it was a statistically significant difference
compared to baseline (p<0.001). Conclusion: Intriguingly, even
short-term consumption of xylitol might play a favorable role in
maintaining the oral health status, possibly as a result of decreasing
the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the counts of S. mutans.
Nonetheless, this investigation warrants further endorsement.