Added sugars can be extremely detrimental to your oral health. The more medical researchers and nutritionists learn about them, the more we understand how they affect our health and wellbeing. Sugar-free sweeteners like xylitol have become increasingly popular. Xylitol’s sweetness is similar to sugar but it doesn’t come with many of the negative side effects. Many oral health experts are reporting that it can even be good for your teeth.
So, what is this sugar alternative and what are its benefits?
What is Xylitol?
It is officially known as a sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols have an interesting chemical makeup. They combine characteristics of alcohol and sugar molecules, which allows them to taste sweet. It is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that can be found in various vegetables and fruits. We, as humans, even produce small amounts through our metabolism.
You can find the sugar-free sweetener in a lot of “sugar-free” products like gum, candy, mints, and dental products.
It has 40% fewer calories than table sugar. These calories are also empty calories, which means there is no nutritional value to consuming this sweetener. There is no fructose in it. Fructose sugar can cause insulin resistance as well as metabolic issues.
What Are the Dental Benefits of Xylitol?
Dental researchers have found that this sugar-free sweetener can help mitigate tooth decay while improving an individual’s overall dental health.
For example, there is a specific type of oral bacteria that feeds on sugar. This bacterium is largely responsible for causing plaque. Replacing sugar with this sugar-free alternative denies the bacteria this source of food.
Essentially, this sugar-free sweetener helps starve the bacteria in your mouth. A study showed that chewing gum with sugar alternatives reduced levels of bacteria in participants from 27 to 75%.
Additionally, animal studies have found that it has the potential to aid your digestive system’s ability to absorb calcium. This can help strengthen your teeth and bones.
Other practical studies found that it can reduce tooth decay and cavities from 30 to 85%. You can do this by adding the sweetener to your diet or replacing sugar with it altogether. Most chronic diseases, especially those that affect your teeth, are associated with inflammation. By reducing gum inflammation and preventing gum disease, you can see benefits to your overall health.
Learn More About How Sugar Affects Your Teeth
The recent research on xylitol looks promising as another tool for maintaining oral health. If you would like to learn more about the effects and benefits of xylitol, chewing gum and dental health breakthroughs, get in touch with our friendly and knowledgable team. We can help you maintain your oral health and achieve the perfect smile!