Figure 2: Relationship between the structural configurations of sorbitol (D-glucitol), D-glucose, and xylitol. The molecular configurations of sorbitol and glucose are relatively similar. Hence, sorbitol can be called a “glucose-polyol”. The configuration of xylitol (a “non-glucose polyol”) markedly differs from the two other configurations. The close similarity of sorbitol with glucose partly explains its plaque-promoting and mutans streptococci-stimulating effects.