Decay Prevented Xylitol

Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in corn, birch trees, fruits,
and vegetables.  Commercial xylitol extracts from corn fibers and Birch tree barks.  Xylitol prevents/reduces cavities by inhibiting the growth of Streptococcus mutans. Streptococcus mutans cannot metabolize and use xylitol as food to grow and multiply. Its anti-cariogenic property is superior to other sugar alcohols, e.g., mannitol, sorbitol.

Consequently, using xylitol products will lower the decay generated bacteria in the mouth, decrease acid destroying enamel production, results in a reduction of dental decay and dental plaque formation. Studies show that parents can pass Streptococcus mutans to newborn and children. Pregnant women can also pass Streptococcus mutans to their fetus.  Regular use of xylitol in parents and pregnant women will significantly reduce the transmission of decay-producing bacteria to their children and the fetus.

Xylitol is equal in sweetness to sugar, and commercial add xylitol in chewing gums, mints, sweeten cereals, beverages and for some baking except when recipes require sugar for the purpose of rising yeast. To get the proper quantity of xylitol for dental cavity control, select the gums or mints that listed xylitol as their first ingredient and use it according to the following instruction.

How to use xylitol:
Therapeutic doses for cavity prevention:
  • Children over 4 years of age may chew gums or mints with xylitol 3-5 times a day.  Keep the gum in your mouth for at least 5 minutes and allow the mints to dissolve slowly. Optimal amount intake without side effect is 3-8 gm per day in divided dose.
  • Children under 4 years of age may use xylitol syrup. Optimal amount intake without side effect is 3-8 gm per day in divided dose.
Side effect of xylitol
Consuming large amount of xylitol at one time may lead to gas or diarrhea. In sensitive persons, increase the dose slowly helps minimize these effects. The symptoms subside when stop using xylitol.

Note: Although xylitol is safe for human use, it is toxic to dogs and ferrets even in a small amount according to Food and Drug Administration. Accidentally consumption of xylitol by dogs and ferrets can cause hypoglycemia (a sudden drop in blood sugar), seizures and liver failure.

Safety of using xylitol
Xylitol has low glycemic index (7) and can be used safely by people who have diabetes. Compare to white sugar (68), honey (62), Maple syrup (54), Corn syrup (100), agave nectar (15), molasses (55).

Glycemic index measures how fast food can raise blood sugar, the higher the number, the quicker it breaks down, and the faster it shows up in the blood.

Xylitol has been approved for safety by:
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • The World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives
  • The European Union’s Scientific Committee for Food
  • The California Dental Association

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