The Benefits of Xylitol

Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that has fewer calories than regular sugar and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. Found in small amounts in many fruits and vegetables, it is also used in some chewing gum, candy and mints, diabetes food products and some oral care products.

Xylitol’s biggest benefit is that oral bacteria (which can cause diseases like gingivitis) can’t feed on it and grow as they would with normal sugars. So in other words, if you eat candy or chew gum with xylitol, the bacteria in your mouth have nothing to support their growth and die.

Xylitol other dental benefits include:

  • Absorption of calcium, which is not only good for your teeth, but may also protect against osteoporosis.
  • An increased production of saliva that contains calcium and prevents dry mouth.
  • A reduction of acid levels in the saliva after eating or drinking, which helps fight erosion of tooth enamel.

 

Sources:

Xylitol, Mutans Streptococci, and Dental Plaque; Advances in Dental Research; July 2009

Xylitol and caries prevention – is it a magic bullet?; British Dental Journal; April 2003