A Smile-Friendly Sugar!

Posted on Mar 23, 2015 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

As a Periodontist, I see the destruction that sugar can do to teeth and gum tissues. Most any form of sugar is an ideal food for oral bacteria. Yet, a sugar alcohol named Xylitol actually inhibits bacteria growth that can contribute to cavities.  It is primarily used as a sweetener in chewing gum, mouthwash and some toothpastes.

An added benefit of chewing gum with Xylitol is its ability to increase saliva flow. Saliva is the mouth’s cleansing agent when brushing isn’t possible. Its flow helps to move oral bacteria out of the mouth, which can lower the bacteria that attack teeth and oral tissues.

The goal is to keep oral bacteria at a minimal level. When brushing after meals isn’t possible, chewing gum or rinsing with products containing Xylitol is a wise alternative.

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