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Xylitol is a sugar alcohol sweetener used as a sugar substitute. Unlike other sweeteners, xylitol is actively beneficial for dental health. It has been shown to reduce tooth decay to a third in regular use.

How does Xylitol Work for Better Dental Hygiene?

There have been numerous research studies that have shown the benefits of chewing gum sweetened with Xylitol after meals and snacks. Xylitol makes an excellent sweetener, as it has many of the same properties as regular table sugar (sucrose). However, unlike table sugar, xylitol reduces tooth cavities.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It contains far fewer calories than table sugar and has less of an effect on the bodies overall blood sugar levels. Xylitol has a low glycemic index of 7, compared to sugar’s level of 83. It also does not break down like sugar and can help maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol has the ability to inhibit the creation of acid in the mouth. By lowering the acid content in the mouth, this in turn lowers the risk of tooth decay.

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.

Products sweetened with xylitol create an unwelcome environment for bacteria. They simply cannot stick to teeth in a xylitol rich environment.  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. 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 decrease by 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. Many people are not aware of this ancillary benefit because such a claim makes xylitol into a drug. This crosses a legal boundary not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration.

It has been recommended that you chew a piece of xylitol gum after every meal or snack to gain maximum benefit to your teeth. Xylitol is recommended by dentists and physicians worldwide as a sweetener for anyone concerned with dental health, upper respiratory health, and sugar consumption, in general.

Can Xylitol Repair Damage to Enamel Too?

Research has also shown that the use of xylitol helps repair damage to the enamel. Saliva protects the mouth and teeth. Stimulated saliva in particular contains all the components needed to repair early tooth 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.

Xylitol Conclusion

Xylitol can help maintain a healthy oral environment, but does not replace dental hygiene!

Xylitol can be an excellent adjunct to normal brushing and flossing coupled with regular dental visits and professional cleanings. The best part is it is quite easy to incorporate xylitol into your daily routine.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol sweetener used as a sugar substitute. Unlike other sweeteners, xylitol is actively beneficial for dental health. It has been shown to reduce tooth decay to a third in regular use.

How does Xylitol Work for Better Dental Hygiene?

There have been numerous research studies that have shown the benefits of chewing gum sweetened with Xylitol after meals and snacks. Xylitol makes an excellent sweetener, as it has many of the same properties as regular table sugar (sucrose). However, unlike table sugar, xylitol reduces tooth cavities.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It contains far fewer calories than table sugar and has less of an effect on the bodies overall blood sugar levels. Xylitol has a low glycemic index of 7, compared to sugar’s level of 83. It also does not break down like sugar and can help maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol has the ability to inhibit the creation of acid in the mouth. By lowering the acid content in the mouth, this in turn lowers the risk of tooth decay.

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 Gum Marielaina Perrone DDS

Xylitol Gum

Products sweetened with xylitol create an unwelcome environment for bacteria. They simply cannot stick to teeth in a xylitol rich environment.  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. 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 decrease by 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. Many people are not aware of this ancillary benefit because such a claim makes xylitol into a drug. This crosses a legal boundary not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration.

It has been recommended that you chew a piece of xylitol gum after every meal or snack to gain maximum benefit to your teeth. Xylitol is recommended by dentists and physicians worldwide as a sweetener for anyone concerned with dental health, upper respiratory health, and sugar consumption, in general.

Can Xylitol Repair Damage to Enamel Too?

Research has also shown that the use of xylitol helps repair damage to the enamel. Saliva protects the mouth and teeth. Stimulated saliva in particular contains all the components needed to repair early tooth 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.

Xylitol Conclusion

Xylitol can help maintain a healthy oral environment, but does not replace dental hygiene!

Xylitol can be an excellent adjunct to normal brushing and flossing coupled with regular dental visits and professional cleanings. The best part is it is quite easy to incorporate xylitol into your daily routine.

 

 

Summertime is all about smiling and having fun. It’s a time for family vacations, late night ice cream trips with family, and backyard BBQ’s. Summertime also includes lots of swimming for the entire family. Swimming is a great way to spend time together along with wonderful exercise for the entire family. But there are hidden dangers lurking in your pool for your teeth and health.

Did you know that poor maintenance of pool chemicals can damage your tooth enamel? A poorly controlled pool can cause permanent damge to your family’s teeth. Swimming pool water that is over chlorinated (a great example of this are community pools) can cause tooth enamel erosion and  permanently stain your teeth. Tooth enamel erosion is the wearing and loss of enamel by the effects of acid. Excessive amounts of chlorine in the swimming pool will lower the pool’s pH level. This makes the pool water acidic. That acid with continued exposure over time can cause hard, brown tartar deposits and begin to cause tooth enamel erosion. If you have ever been to a pool where your eyes begin to water or your nose burns from sniffing the pool water, the pH was very low in that pool.

When the pH in the swimming pool falls too low, the water becomes corrosive. This is when the water can stain surfaces like teeth, and cause stain irritation. Back in 1986, a survey of 747 swimmers published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that 39 % of competitive swimmers presented with tooth enamel erosion. In this study, the pH of the pool water was found to be 2.7 (very acidic), much lower than the recommended pH of 7.2 to 7.8 (in the neutral range).

Disease Risk As Well?

A second reason for concern about an improper pool pH is that it can affect the effectiveness of the chlorine. When the pH becomes too low or too high, chlorine either breaks down too fast or its ability to disinfect the water slows. As a result of this, disease causing bacteria like chriptosporidium and giardia can thrive and cause health issues for the swimmers.

How to Protect Yourself and Family?

An easy way to protect yourself and your family from these harmful effects is to monitor pool chemicals and levels on a weekly basis. You can buy fairly inexpensive pool pH test strips at local pool supply stores or even online. The optimum pH level is between 7.2 and 7.8. You can even use your test strips at both community swimming pools and splash pads. They should be in the same range as your pool at home (Ph 7.2-7.8).

Options to Restore Teeth

If you notice changes to your teeth there are options to repair them. As soon as you note any changes to your teeth or anyone in your family, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have a thorough dental examination. Once it is determined you have either tooth staining or tooth enamel erosion your dentist has a few options to restore them.

-Teeth Whitening. This would be used following completion of a thorough cleaning of your teeth. This would allow the dentist to remove the staining and build up on your teeth. You can choose to complete this porcedure in office or at home.

-Dental Bonding. In more severe cases your dentist may need to use a tooth colored filling material to restore your teeth and cover areas that have lost enamel due to erosion.

Summertime is a good time to enjoy the outdoors and have fun but we need to be smart and safe.

 

Swimming Putting Your Teeth At Risk?
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