Reporting on Day 1 of the Xlear conference

Feb. 14, 2011

By Mark Hartley
Editor, RDH Magazine

The role of expectant mothers ingesting xylitol to reduce the transmission of caries-causing bacteria to their children was discussed in the opening day of the Xlear symposium in Cancun, Mexico, on Feb. 14, 2011.

Drs. Yukie Nakai and Brett Duane presented information from Japanese and Scottish studies, respectively, that supported the treatment protocol of mothers-to-be adopting a change in oral hygiene routines. Evidence indicates a reduction of Streptococcus mutans in children born to mothers who consumed xylitol on a daily basis.

Dr. Nakai, a researcher at the Okayama University School of Medicine, said xylitol influences the adhesion of S. mutans to the enamel surface, which affects the “quality” of biofilm passed on to children.

To view an abstract of Dr. Nakai’s work, click here.

Dr. Duane, a researcher affiliated with Scotland’s National Health Service, reported on progress on an ongoing study in the country’s MaXED program (maternal consumption of xylitol to reduce early dental decay). Scottish researchers hope to replicate results produced by Dr. Nakai and Dr. Eva Soderling where, children of mothers-to-be who consumed xylitol had 70% less dental decay.

To view an abstract of the MaXED research, click here.

The first day of the Xlear conference also included presentations for Drs. John Peldyak and K.K. Makinen. Dr. Peldyak, a Michigan dentist and the author of Sweet Smart Xylitol, based his presentation on the chemical breakdown of xylitol vs. other sugars. Dr. Makinen, a doctor from Finland, where xylitol for oral health use was first promoted, gave the audience of dentists and dental hygienists a sense of the history behind the sugar alternative.