Background: The modern concepts of cariogram demonstrate microorganisms as one of the major etiological factors apart from dietary factors and host factors in the formation of dental caries. Hence; we planned the present study to assess the effect of xylitol (XYL) chewing gum on Streptococcus mutans levels among 8 to 12-year-old children. Materials and methods: Sixty children aged 8 to 12 years were selected with moderate and high salivary S. mutans levels. The subjects were asked to chew XYL chewing gum twice daily. The S. mutans colony-forming units (CFUs) were counted by using the mitissalivarius agar plate at the beginning of the study and at 15 days, 1 month, 2 months, and 6 months from the start of the study. Results: The XYL group showed reduction in S. mutans scores throughout the study period. Conclusion: The S. mutans score was found to be significantly reduced in the xylitol group.
Key words: preventive strategies, dental caries, Streptococcus mutans, Xylitol.