Monthly Archives: June 2011

Fewer Cavities?

You may have heard of Xylitol, but what is it?  What is it good for and why all the hype?

We wanted to share some information about this amazing product that can actually help reduce the occurrence of tooth decay!  We have this product available in our office now for those who are interested in trying it out! Other places to look would be at health foods stores.

Here is some info right from http://www.xylitol.org/:

Why Use Xylitol?
It’s effective.
Studies using xylitol as either a sugar substitute or a small dietary addition have demonstrated a dramatic reduction in new tooth decay, along with arrest and even some reversal of existing dental caries. This xylitol effect is long-lasting and possibly permanent. Low decay rates persist even years after the trials have been completed.
It’s 100% natural.
Xylitol is not an artificial substance, but a normal part of everyday metabolism. Xylitol is widely distributed throughout nature in small amounts.
It’s safe.
In the amounts needed to prevent tooth decay (less than 15 grams per day), xylitol is safe for everyone. The World Health Organization has given xylitol its safest rating for food additives.
It’s convenient to use.
Xylitol can be conveniently delivered to your teeth via chewing gum, tablets, or even candy. You don’t need to change your normal routine to make room for Xylitol.
It tastes great!


Xylitol is a health regimen that doesn’t require iron willpower or discipline. Xylitol tastes so good, using it becomes automatic, for both adults and children.
How to Use Xylitol
It is not necessary to replace all sweeteners to get the dental benefits of xylitol. Look for xylitol sweetened products that encourage chewing or sucking to keep the xylitol in contact with your teeth. The best items use xylitol as the principal sweetener.
How much?
Studies show that 4 to 12 grams of xylitol per day are very effective. It’s easy to keep track of your xylitol intake. The “all xylitol” mints and gums contain about one gram of xylitol in each piece. You could begin with as little as one piece four times a day for a total of four grams. It is not necessary to use more than 15 grams per day as higher intakes yield diminishing dental benefits.
How often?
If used only occasionally or even as often as once a day, xylitol may NOT be effective, regardless of the amount. Use xylitol at least three, and preferably 5 times every day.


When should I use it?
Use immediately after eating and clearing the mouth by swishing water, if possible. Between meals, replace ordinary chewing gum, breath mints, or breath spray with comparable xylitol products.
Dental Benefits of Xylitol
The Xylitol difference for teeth
Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars we eat. When you eat food containing ordinary sugar (sucrose), it gives bacteria on your teeth energy, allowing them to multiply and start making acids that can eat away the enamel on the teeth. This “acid attack” causes tooth decay and cavities to begin to form.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It does not break down like sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth. This is how it protects the teeth from tooth decay. With Xylitol, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over half an hour is stopped. Most people are not aware of this benefit because such a claim makes xylitol into a drug, crossing a boundary not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Less bacteria, less acid – healthier teeth!
Because the bacteria in the mouth that are causing cavities are unable to digest xylitol, their growth is greatly reduced. The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90%. No acid is formed because the pH of saliva and plaque does not fall. After taking xylitol, the bacteria do not stick well on the surface of the teeth and as a result, the amount of plaque decreases.
Repairing damaged enamel
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. If sugar is only taken a couple of times a day, the saliva can do the job alone. But most people take sugar so often that the mouth’s own defensive tools are not enough.
Saliva that has xylitol is more alkaline than saliva stimulated by other sugar products. After taking xylitol products, the concentration of basic amino acids and ammonia in saliva and plaque may rise, and plaque pH rises as well. When pH is above 7, calcium and phosphate salts in saliva start to move into those parts of enamel that are weak. Therefore, soft, calcium-deficient enamel sites begin to harden again.
While reversing a rising trend of negative health and high health-care costs won’t happen overnight, improving your own health can begin sooner than later, and xylitol can have a significant influence on that trend.