Plaque’s stickiness is what makes it so problematic. Scientists call it a biofilm, a mixture of bacteria and protein that can be very difficult to remove.
Xylitol, found in various berries, vegetables and mushrooms, helps disrupt plaque because it cannot be digested by tooth-eroding microbes, reducing bacterial growth. Xylitol also makes the mouth less acidic and more alkali, which encourages the enamel to absorb minerals and become stronger.
Reducing plaque helps prevent gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that can lead to tooth loss.
Research has shown xylitol’s effectiveness. In an Italian study, schoolchildren at high risk for tooth decay who chewed xylitol gum had lower levels of oral bacteria and more alkali saliva (Caries Research 12/09). Scientists in another study gave either xylitol or a placebo to children between the ages of 9 and 15 months in the form of syrup. Fewer youngsters in the xylitol group developed cavities and had fewer decayed teeth (Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 7/09). In a Japanese study, mothers-to-be who chewed xylitol gum from the sixth month of pregnancy until after they gave birth transmitted less mutans streptococci, a variety of bacteria that causes tooth decay, to their babies (Journal of Dental Research 1/10).
Such research findings have led to official endorsements for xylitol. “The evidence is strong enough to support the regular use of xylitol-sweetened gum as a way to prevent caries, and it can be promoted as a public-health preventive measure,” writes the author of a Journal of the American Dental Association article.
“Xylitol has been shown to have decay-preventative properties,” states the California Dental Association on its website.
Chewing gum, mints, toothpaste and mouthwash aren’t the only products in which you’ll find xylitol. The granular form can be used as a sugar substitute. In addition, this healthy sweetener has found a home in chewable supplements for both adults and children, some of which specifically target oral health with ingredients such as probiotics, vitamin D and calcium.
Want a filling-free smile? See the dentist regularly—and let xylitol help protect your teeth between visits.
This article is courtesy of Energy Times magazine.
Please visit our website www.cdrnaturals.com for more information on this and other great health topics. Remember this article is for information only. Do not make any changes in your diet or lifestyle without first consulting with your preventive health care provider. We always pray for your prosperity and health, 3 John 2, blessings, Donna.