Erythritol: New Oral Care Material through the Study of Saliva’s Purifying Function

Personal Health Care

According to a study of 386 women aged 30 to 50 conducted by Kao in 2005, about 70% of people who brush their teeth daily still experience unpleasant symptoms in the mouth including stickiness, bad breath, and coated tongue. One possible cause for this is remaining residue resulting from insufficient brushing, but we have also identified reduced saliva secretion due to stress, fatigue, and aging as additional possible causes.

Saliva is known to perform many functions that are intrinsic to both good oral and general health, including digestion and tooth remineralization. Saliva also washes away and kills bacteria that live in the oral cavity, helping to keep the oral environment clean.

If purification and disinfection performed by saliva decline due to decreased secretion, then microbes can proliferate on the teeth, tongue and other oral structures, creating biofilms such as plaque and tongue fur that in turn give rise to disorders such as tooth decay or caries, periodontitis, and halitosis. In other words, the stickiness, bad breath and other unpleasant sensations experienced in the mouth can be considered a sign that saliva’s purifying function has declined and the oral environment has deteriorated.

Taking a hint from saliva’s purifying properties; we discovered that the application of the sugar alcohol erythritol makes it easier to break up bacterial biofilms. This led to the development of our Medicated Pyuora toothpaste, which contains a high concentration of erythritol and antibacterial agents (e.g. cethylpyridinium chloride) that prevents new biofilms from forming. The result is a clean, fresh sensation that provides assurance that the mouth is truly clean.

Breaking up mechanism of bacterial biofilms by erythritol

Related Actions and Goals

Kao’s ESG Strategy Kirei Lifestyle Plan


Sustainable Development Goals

SDGs GOAL 3:Good Health and Well-being

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