Craig Droskin DDS 

 

Unlike some artificial sweeteners, Xylitol is naturally found in many foods.  For example 1 cup of raspberries contains 1 gram of Xylitol(xylitol.org).  Our own bodies also produce Xylitol as an intermediate product in the beak-down of sugar in some metabolic pathways. 

Although Xylitol is not free of calories like some sugar substitutes, it is has been shown to be greatly beneficial due to its ability to prevent cavities.  Regular use of small quantities of Xylitol in addition to good oral hygiene, has been proven to markedly reduce rates of decay.  The reason for this remarkable benefit is that Xylitol actually kills the bacteria that cause decay.  

To attain the cavity prevention benefits, it is recommended that sugarless chewing gum or candy that contains Xylitol is chewed or sucked on immediately after food exposures when brushing is not an option.  Many sugarless gums on the market today are sweetened at least in part by Xylitol, including some Trident products.  

Although Xylitol use is beneficial in most cases, it is advisable to ask your dentist if he or she recommends chewing gum for you.  Some patients with TMJ disorders, and worn or compromised dentition may be at risk for aggravation of these problems by chewing gum.  Finally, use of Xylitol as a sugar substitute in larger quantities has been known to cause symptoms of diarrhea in some individuals.  

Prevention of tooth decay can save thousands of dollars for families each year.  Use of Xylitol in small quantities in addition to regular oral hygiene practices, can play a big role in keeping your teeth healthy and your dental expenses down.

Craig Droskin DDS

Family Dentistry

                       Dr. Droskin Prevention Tips

                           Xylitol