Have you ever seen advertisements for sugar free gum that claim to help your teeth and wondered whether or not it actually works? Believe it or not, many of them are telling the truth, and one of the reasons why is a common sugar replacement called Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, a natural, sweet substance often used to sweeten foods without the caloric impact of sugar. While Xylitol is sweet, it doesn’t have the same impact on your body as sugar.
Where the normal bacteria on your mouth responsible for cavities (streptococcus mutans) feeds on sugar, it cannot feed on Xylitol – chewing sugar free gum containing Xylitol not only doesn’t feed bacteria, but it allows your body to wash away the sugar. Over time, fewer and fewer bacteria will live in the mouth, and less plaque will form.
The most common sources of Xylitol in sufficient quantities for dental impact is in gum and mint products. If Xylitol is listed as the first ingredient, it likely has enough to actually decrease decay-causing bacteria over time if chewed regularly. Research has shown that the use of Xylitol also helps repair damage to the enamel. Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth. Stimulated saliva in particular contains all the components needed to repair early cavities. The dental benefits of Xylitol can have a significant influence on your oral health.
Chewing gum a few times per day may take effort, it’s a great, cheap, simple way to keep your teeth clean, and help fight off cavities.
If you have questions or concerns regarding Xylitol, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.
Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.