Effects of Xylitol and Stimulated Salivary Flow on Calculus Accumulation in Gastrostomy Tube-Fed Patients: A Pilot Study
McCoy, Kevin Gerald
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This pilot study was initiated to investigate whether xylitol and/or stimulated salivary flow would have an effect on the accumulation of calculus in gastrostomy tube-fed patients. Following stringent inclusion criteria and 33% patient drop-out, four patients completed at least one of the two interventions after an initial baseline period. Intervention #1 consisted of using Dr. John?s? sugar-free lollipops (Product #NMF100) three times a day for five minutes each over a period of eight weeks. Intervention #2 utilized Dr. John?s? xylitol-containing sugar-free lollipops (Product #NMXF100, 1 gram of xylitol per lollipop) three times a day for five minutes each over a period of eight weeks. Intra-oral photographs of the buccal surfaces of the maxillary first permanent molars were used to determine the amount of calculus formed pre- and post-interventions. Calculus levels were determined using the Calculus Score Method and by percentage of surface area covered by calculus using Elements? software. No significant differences were found comparing either post-intervention calculus levels to pre-intervention baseline calculus levels. Also no significance was found between Intervention #1 and #2. The extremely low patient enrollment and high percentage of patient drop-out render this pilot study inadequate in drawing significant conclusions.