How Does Xylitol Work?

The previous post discussed some of the benefits of the natural sweetener, Xylitol.  Many find it fascinating, that something sweet can actually be good for your teeth and it left many people wondering, how does it work exactly, and will it really improve your oral health?  The article “Xylitol: Sweet for Your Teeth” found on Worldental.org discusses in detail exactly how Xylitol creates a healthy environment in your mouth.  Here are some highlights.

The history of Xylitol dates back to around 1970 in Finland where some research showed that the use of this sugar actually decreased the number of cavities in adults.  When you consume sugar, the bacteria in your mouth will feed off of it and create a very acidic waste product.  This waste causes what’s called demineralization of tooth enamel and makes one more susceptible to cavities for a period of time.  Xylitol works because the bacteria in our mouth cannot process this 5-carbon sugar.  Since it is not processed by bacteria, waste product is not created making for a “cleaner” mouth.

It’s suggested that using Xylitol after eating can help limit the amount of acidic waste created and reducing decay.  The bacteria count in the mouth drops, perhaps because the Xylitol is starving the bacteria.  It’s also been shown that Xylitol can reduce the amount of plaque sticking to teeth which contributes to decay.  If you think you would benefit from this product, speak to dentists in Miami to see what options are available to you.  The article says the recommendation can vary from 6 t o10 grams per day, but discuss this with your dentist first.

Written by Mark Paulsort

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