Dental advice from Steveston dentist - How to use xylitol to prevent cavities

by Rho K. Steveston Dental Care

Xylitol has been recognized as an effective anticavity agent and also potentiates the effects of even small amounts of fluoride. Xylitol is a much less common anticaries agent than fluoride, and in the United States, the FDA only recognizes fluorides as "active ingredients" in anticavity products. One of the primary reasons xylitol is often limited to professional dental care and prescription grade products and not included in over-the-counter products is its cost. Xylitol is 5-6 times more expensive per kilogram than most common over-the-counter dental product sweeteners such as sorbitol. Also, in order to provide an effective "therapeutic dose" of xylitol, one must consume about 6g. While xylitol may be listed on many product labels, often patients and professionals must contact manufacturers or search their websites to determine how much xylitol is actually present in the product.

Xylitol is a five-carbon alcohol sugar. It is sweet in taste, similar to sugar (sucrose). Yet it works as an anticavity therapy agent in three ways. First, cariogenic bacteria cannot metabolize xylitol into acid, as they do many other carbohydrates and sweeteners, protecting the teeth from additional acid exposure. Second, because the bacteria cannot metabolize xylitol, it reduces their growth and a bacterial starvation effect occurs that over time can reduce total bacteria levels. Finally, because it is sweet tasting, it causes an increase in salivary flow to aid in the repair of damaged tooth enamel.

Another proven benefit of xylitol is its synergistic therapy effect when combined with sodium fluoride. Xylitol can make even very small levels of fluoride more effective. The dental product combination of sodium fluoride and xylitol can provide additional anticavity benefits of 12%.

Xylitol is both noncariogenic in that it does not contribute to cavity formation and cariostatic because it prevents or reduces the incidence of new cavities. Xylitol actually reduces the amount of plaque and the number of bacteria in plaque. No other sugar substitute has been shown to function this way. Xylitol is safe for all age groups, and products specifically designed for children under the age of 2 are available. Xylitol can be found in oral rinses, sprays, toothpastes/gels, wipes, gums, and lollipops for children and adults.

Our dentist in Steveston, BC, has specific recommendations for patients in their blog article -

Sponsor Ads

About Rho K. Junior   Steveston Dental Care

0 connections, 0 recommendations, 13 honor points.
Joined APSense since, May 20th, 2018, From Richmond, Canada.

Created on May 20th 2018 18:43. Viewed 567 times.


No comment, be the first to comment.
Please sign in before you comment.