Xylitol

Author: Dr. Alison Vitelli, DMD

Many of us have probably heard about xylitol, but you may not know the real benefit of it. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that has is being widely used in a variety of products including foods, dental care products and some medicine syrups, among others. The greatest benefit xylitol is that this type of sugar cannot be properly metabolized by the cavity-causing bacteria in our mouths! If these bacteria do not have the appropriate sugar to metabolize, they will not be able to produce the acid that damages the enamel of the teeth, which in turn, decreases the probability of cavity formation.  Some of the products that contain xylitol include chewing gum, toothpaste, some mints or lozenges, and mouthwashes.  Most of these products are also great aids for patients who suffer from dry mouth syndrome and those who are at higher risk of developing cavities.  Next time you are out shopping, check the ingredients list and see if you are reaping the benefits of xylitol!