Xylitol…….and what you need to know.

Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars you eat. When you eat food containing ordinary sugar(sucrose), it gives the bacteria on your teeth energy, allowing them to multiply and start making acids that eat away the enamel on the teeth.  This “acid attack” causes tooth decay and cavities begin to form.

Xylitol  is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener. It is extracted from birch wood to make medicine. 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 your teeth. This is how it protects the teeth from the damaging effects of acids that cause tooth decay. With the dental benefits of 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 would make Xylitol into a drug, crossing the 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 using 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 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.

The dental benefits of Xylitol also include saliva. Saliva that has Xylitol is more alkaline than saliva stimulated by other sugar products. After using Xylitol  products, the concentration of basic amino acids and ammonia in saliva and plaque may rise. 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 rather than later, and the dental benefits of Xylitol can have a significant influence on that trend.

Xylitol products – Ice Chips (locally made)

Spry Gum, Mints or Toothpaste

Epic Xylitol Gum

Find these products online @ Homestead MArket website or Amazon.com  or in local health food stores.

****** Dog owners should know that Xylitol products can be toxic to dogs, even when in relatively small amounts from candies