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What is Xylitol and How Can It Improve My Smile?

Derived from fiber in natural fruits and vegetables, the natural substance, Xylitol can be used as a “sugar-free” additive and a decay prevention tool. In this blog post we will discuss how the use of Xylitol can prevent cavities. Keep reading for more information!

How Does Xylitol Prevent Cavities?

Well, you may know that starches that turn to sugars and pure sugars are largely responsible tooth decay. This is because these sugars can easily turn into acids which can eat away the outside of the tooth, compromising the outer layer, called the enamel. With this information, it may be confusing that a sweet, sugar-like substance can prevent cavities. Well, here is how it works. Although sweet like sugar, Xylitol does not easily turn into acid and promote a slippery coating over the tooth which makes it harder for bacteria to stick to the mucus membrane on the outside of the tooth.

One common form that Xylitol is consumed in is a 100% pure xylitol gum. Chewing any type of gum will stimulate your salivary glands and produce more saliva. However, chewing xylitol gum will also help reduce bad bacteria in the saliva which stimulating its production. An abundance of saliva can reduce dry mouth, bad breath, and rinse the outer layer of the teeth to prevent bacteria from sticking to the surface.

Can Xylitol Affect My Blood Sugar?

Yes, Xylitol, which is a sugar-alcohol can affect your blood sugar, but usually to a lesser degree than man-made sweeteners or other sugars. Compared to other sweeteners, Xylitol has a lower glycemic index (GI), which means it will have a minimal affect on your blood sugar. However, when trying a new sugar it is important to test your blood sugar before and after using Xylitol to understand how it affects your body.

Caring for your oral health can benefit the appearance of your smile and your overall health. For more information on how Xylitol can improve your oral health or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Viet Tran and the Smiles of Memorial team in Houston, Texas, call us today!