What You Need to Know About Xylitol Toothpaste

Xylitol is a NATURAL REPLACEMENT for FLUORIDE and helps REDUCE CAVITIES UP TO 80% (Ylevieska Clinical Study). Used with Fluoride toothpastes, it reduces plaque and allows the Fluoride to more easily penetrate teeth.

Xylitol toothpaste is an essential tool in improving dental health. Aside from aiding in the fight against tooth decay, xylitol toothpaste inhibits and reduces plaque. Xylitol, a natural sweetener and a healthy alternative to sugar is used as an ingredient in dental care products. It not only tastes like sugar but has health benefits as well. Since xylitol is reported to lessen the production of bacteria in the mouth, xylitol toothpaste is often considered a natural approach to preventing cavities.

Several studies conclude that brushing with xylitol toothpaste may provide certain dental health benefits. A study in the University of Medical Sciences in Poland evaluated the influence of using Polish toothpaste with xylitol in patients with mouth cavity.  Tests after 2 and 4 months on 34 students pointed out the improvement of the hygienic condition of the mouth and gums. Toothpaste with xylitol had helped in the decrease of the number of S. mutans (the bacteria most linked with tooth decay) in the saliva and the increase of the pH value.

In 2008, a study from Oral Health and Preventive Dentistry showed that xylitol combats cavity-promoting bacteria by hindering the production of acid within the bacteria. In 2007, the Journal of Oral Science found that xylitol-enhanced fluoride toothpaste helped in the remineralization of teeth (an outcome that can inhibit the development of cavity).

The effects of xylitol are long-lasting and most likely permanent.  A summary of clinically proven dental effects of xylitol include:>

  • Increase the production of saliva and increase the pH value
  • Relieves dry mouth
  • Repairs damaged tooth enamel
  • Improves breath odor
  • Prevents cavity and inhibits plaque

Xylitol has been approved for safety by the US Food and Drug Administration. At present, there is no known adverse effect associated with the use of xylitol toothpaste.

Xylitol toothpaste can be found in many grocery stores. It is also available for purchase online. In selecting the best xylitol product, you should know the dosage you get with each brushing. That however is quite hard to calculate. Instead, you should look at the xylitol content of toothpaste found in the ingredients list. It is said that the items in the ingredient list is stated in the decreasing order. So toothpastes with higher xylitol content will be those where xylitol is listed closer to the start of the list.

In 2006, Lif Holgerson compared xylitol levels in the saliva and dental plaque of subjects using different dental products: xylitol-sweetened chewing gum, candy, mouthwash and toothpaste. Although te study found that toothpaste produced the lowest oral exposure, including xylitol in your daily dental care is still of some benefit.

For optimum dental health, the National Institutes of Health suggest the following:

  • Brushing your teeth every day with a fluoride tooth paste.
  • Cleaning between your teeth with dental floss or another type of between-the-teeth cleaner.
  • Reducing your consumption of foods that contain too much sugar.
  • Avoiding the use of tobacco and smoking.
  • Seeing your dentist or oral health professional on a regular basis preferably twice a year.

A Look at the Dental Benefits of Xylitol

Over 400 strains of bacteria inhabit the human mouth. These bacteria are the cause of most dental problems. Sugar is one of the major energy sources for these bacteria and it helps them proliferate. Sugar causes tooth decay by creating a highly acidic environment in the oral cavity that weakens enamel and makes it vulnerable to attack by bacteria, leading to tooth decay.

Xylitol, which is a non-fermentable natural sugar alternative has the exact opposite effects and can help in caries prevention, remineralization of caries lesion and alteration of the composition of the oral flora (bacteria that inhabit the oral cavity).

Xylitol Protects Teeth and Prevents Cavities

S. Mutans (Streptococcus mutans) is a common part of the oral flora and it is one of the primary culprits behind tooth decay and caries.  It metabolizes sugar to produce lactic acid that weakens tooth enamel. In addition to that, it is one of the main cause behind the creation of dental plaque. Xylitol, unlike sugar cannot be fermented by S. Mutans and a number of studies have shown that xylitol can suppress S. Mutans (1,2)

Mouth pH

pH is a measure of acidity, lower pH means a more acidic environment. Low pH in the oral cavity weakens tooth enamel but also creates a hospitable environment for the bacteria that are responsible for the formation of caries. It is basically a vicious cycle,  bacteria produce acids that lowers the pH and create an environment in which the same bacteria thrive and multiply and produce more acids. Since xylitol is not metabolized to acids and also inhibits the growth of acid producing bacteria it can help neutralize the pH of the oral cavity with all the associated dental health benefits.

Xylitol Repairs Tooth Enamel

As we have already mentioned, xylitol has a number of protective effects. In addition to that, use of xylitol can help repair damaged enamel. Trials, both in vivo and in vitro have shown that xylitol can promote tooth remineralization(3) and as a result prevent dental caries.

References

  1. Loesche WJ, Grossman NS, Earnest R, Corpron R. The effect of chewing xylitolgum on the plaque and saliva levels of Streptococcus mutans. J Am Dent Assoc.1984 Apr;108(4):587-92.
  2. Milgrom P, Ly KA, Roberts MC, Rothen M, Mueller G, Yamaguchi DK. Mutans
    streptococci dose response to xylitol chewing gum. J Dent Res. 2006
    Feb;85(2):177-81.
  3. Mäkinen KK. Sugar alcohols, caries incidence, and remineralization of car

 

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