Xylitol gum and maternal transmission of mutans streptococci

Y. Nakai, C. Shinga-Ishihara, M. Kaji, K. Moriya, K. Murakami-Yamanaka, M. Takimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


An important caries prevention strategy for children includes measures to interfere with transmission of mutans streptococci (MS). This study confirmed the effectiveness of maternal early exposure to xylitol chewing gum on mother-child transmission of MS. After screening, 107 pregnant women with high salivary MS were randomized into two groups: xylitol gum (Xylitol; n = 56) and no gum (Control; n = 51) groups. Maternal chewing started at the sixth month of pregnancy and terminated 13 months later in the Xylitol group. Outcome measures were the presence of MS in saliva or plaque of the children until age 24 months. The Xylitol-group children were significantly less likely to show MS colonization than Control-group children aged 9-24 months. The Control-group children acquired MS 8.8 months earlier than those in the Xylitol group, suggesting that maternal xylitol gum chewing in Japan shows beneficial effects similar to those demonstrated in Nordic countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-60
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Mother-child transmission
  • Mutans streptococci
  • Pregnancy.
  • Xylitol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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