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Protect Your Teeth from Bacterial Growth with Xylitol
Jennifer Morganti, ND, Director of Education for NEEDS

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is derived from corn fiber, although it does not contain any corn allergens. It has the same sweetness as sugar, yet has 40% less calories. This makes it an appropriate sugar substitute (in moderate amounts) for those with diabetes and even those with candida. But the most significant activity of xylitol is its antibacterial effects.

An in vitro study has confirmed that xylitol inhibits the growth of bacteria. "In vitro" means that the study has been conducted in a lab setting rather than on people. In this study, the xylitol was applied to petri dishes that contained a variety of bacteria known to cause dental problems and periodontal disease. The scientists found that very little of the bacteria remained after the xylitol application. They concluded that xylitol would be effective at preventing oral diseases that are caused by plaque formation.1

Xylitol also makes the saliva more alkaline and protects tooth enamel. It is most effective when used 4-5 times daily, which can be easily accomplished by using toothpaste or mouthwash and gum as well. Be sure the xylitol products you choose have adequate amounts to be effective; some brands contain just a sprinkling of xylitol, just enough to be able to claim it on the label.

Reference:
1. Oral Health Prev Dent. 2008;6(4):337-41.


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