Date of Award

Fall 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene



Purpose: The intent of this study was to assess naturopathic physicians’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding the use of xylitol clinical practice. Methods: This study utilized a convenience sample of naturopathic physicians (NPs) (N=325) through an online survey via SurveyMonkey®. Results: The majority of NPs were knowledgeable of the medical and dental uses of xylitol (84%; n = 53 and 95%; n = 60, respectively). Ninety percent (n=57) viewed the current demand for naturopathic medicine as increasing. The medical literature was the highest ranked source of information on xylitol (45%; n = 28) with clinical practice guidelines being reported as the level of evidence required for adoption of xylitol. There is a significant correlation (p = 0.015) between NPs awareness of medical dental uses and having used xylitol as a preventive agent. There was also a significant correlation (p = 0.002) and relationship between strongly agreeing xylitol is useful in preventing dental caries and having used xylitol. Participants responded they would be highly likely to use xylitol, based on the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) guidelines, to prevent dental caries and having used it as a preventive agent. Conclusion: The majority of naturopathic physicians surveyed are aware of the use of xylitol in clinical practice as an evidence-based approach to preventing dental caries. Subsequently, approximately one-half of those surveyed utilize xylitol in clinical practice. Further investigation of opportunities for educational interventions and collaboration between naturopathic and dental professionals is of value considering the current trend toward complementary and alternative therapies.

Included in

Dentistry Commons