We have been recommending xylitol products for about 3 years now for our high risk patients (those getting a lot of cavities especially those taking medications that dry out their mouth). I believe it may be helping some individuals, but am constantly monitoring the research to refine my recommendations. Research will continue to come out and as it does we can refine our criteria for who exactly xylitol will benefit and what dosages are best.
Xylitol appears to help decrease root surface caries, which are more prominent in individuals with dry mouth. In this 3 year study of 620 patients there was a 40% decrease in root surface caries. That’s a big number! It had no effect on caries in other areas.