A cluster randomized trial of more than 9,600 participants in Malawi, a nation in South Central Africa, found that women who chewed xylitol gum during pregnancy experienced a reduction in preterm birth and low birth weight babies. Malawi has a very high incidence of preterm birth at more than 22%.
The trial included a control group that received prenatal and oral health education and an experimental group that received the same education plus xylitol chewing gum with directions to chew the gum at least once daily for 10 minutes. Study subjects in the experimental group saw a 16.5% decline in preterm birth compared to 12.6% in the control group and a 12.9% decline in low birth weight compared to 8.9% in the control group. All of the participants experienced an improvement in oral health. Click here to read the full study.