The Benefits of Xylitol for Your Dental Health
Did you know that that box of delicious cookies you just consumed didn’t only curb your appetite but also managed to feed the bacteria colonies in your mouth? Yes, the bad bacteria that are the main cause of tooth decay. As it turns out, ordinary sugar (sucrose) provides the bacteria living in your mouth with energy, causing them to multiply and produce acids that destroy the protective enamel on your teeth. So, does that mean you should say goodbye to sweets in order to protect your dental health?
Luckily, not. You only need to stay away from the bad sugar (sucrose) and instead consider sweeteners that are good for your teeth. Like Xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener derived from plants. It’s available in many forms, from crystals to Xylitol gum mints. And unlike regular sugar, Xylitol actually prevents tooth decay. It does so in several ways. First of all, it prevents the bacteria from producing acid. And second, it increases the pH level of the mouth and helps create an alkaline environment that prevents inflammation. As a result, your teeth are less prone to developing plaque and tartar, and even gum disease.
If you think that after decades of consuming regular white sugar you’re too late to the party, here’s some good news. The dental benefits of Xylitol extend far beyond prevention. Many studies have shown that this natural sweetener can also help repair the enamel that’s already damaged. You see, the mouth has its own damage control unit – saliva. It may sound weird, but saliva contains certain chemicals that repair early cavities. Unfortunately, excessive sugar consumption hinders the regenerative effect of saliva so much that it cannot do its job properly.
On the other hand, consuming Xylitol actually supports the normal production of saliva. Additionally, the increased pH levels in the mouth, caused by Xylitol, allow the calcium and phosphate salts in saliva to move into the cracks and weak parts of the enamel. This, in turn, helps the soft and calcium-deficient enamel to harden, restoring its protective properties again.
Of course, while reversing the damage to teeth won’t happen overnight, the regular use of Xylitol can have great effects with time. And you don’t even have to stick to one product. There are many ways you can incorporate Xylitol into your daily habits, whether it’s Xylitol gum mints, toothpaste, mouth rinse or crystal sugar – they are all equally effective. So, if you’re looking for a way to cut down on those dreaded dentist visits – Xylitol is definitely for you!