Xylitol – Reducing Cavities
Tooth decay is a common, yet preventable dental problem. Left untreated, cavities in primary (baby) and permanent (adult) teeth become painful and negatively impact the esthetics and functionality of the teeth.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that is commonly used as a sugar substitute. It’s a naturally occurring substance found in many fruits, vegetables, and even in the human body. Unlike sugar and many of other substitutes, xylitol has been clinically proven to benefit the mouth by preventing tooth decay and reducing the onset of gum disease. Some of the most common Xylitol- rich foods include: berries, mushrooms, corns, and lettuces. Study results indicate that 4-20 grams of Xylitol each day, divided into three or more helpings, can reduce tooth decay and cavities by as much as 70%. As a point of reference, a single cup of berries contains a little less than one gram of Xylitol.
It should be noted that excessive Xylitol consumption does not provide “more” tooth protection. Sticking to the recommended daily amount is enough to enhance other cavity-reduction efforts, and the effects will last well into the future.
If you have questions or concerns about Xylitol or tooth decay, please contact our practice.