Xylitol And Its Role In Good Oral Health

Maintaining good oral health is about way more than just making sure your teeth look sparkling white on photographs. A healthy mouth is also good for your overall health and wellbeing.  What role can xylitol play in good oral health?

Good oral health can also prevent more serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

What causes bad oral heath?

Sugar is one of the big causes of bad oral health. It promotes plaque growth and stimulates tooth decay and stops our body processing the important vitamins and minerals it needs.

However, increasing the amount of Xylitol you use can counteract these problems.

Xylitol can help you maintain not just a healthy smile but a healthy mouth and body too.

What is Xylitol and how does it help oral health?

Xylitol is a low calorie sweeter substitute that looks and tastes just like sugar but doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. It also has less calories.

Xylitol also doesn’t give the bacteria on your teeth energy allowing them to start making acids which erode our teeth.

Xylitol is added to dental based products such as toothpaste and sugar free gum because it's associated with oral health .

Where is Xylitol found?

It is found in the fibrous parts of many fruits, vegetables and plants as well as from tress such as birch. It’s classed as a sugar alcohol (or if we’re going to get technical a polyalcohol).

Don't worry about the alcohol part, there's not actual alcohol in xylitol and it is safe for people who may have substance abuse issues.

Now, the reason why xylitol gets added to oral hygiene products is even though its present in a variety of fruits and vegetables, it is only present in very small amounts.

It would therefore be impossible to get the dosage you need from just from your diet alone. It’s also part of our metabolism process and we make up 5 - 10 grams of it per day in our gut. But because it’s processed in our gut, it doesn’t deliver any oral benefits.

How does xylitol help good oral health?

The xylitol prevents bacteria sticking to teeth and doesn’t break down in the same way sugar does so it helps keep a neutral pH level in mouth.

This means that because there is less bacteria in the mouth, there’s less chance of cavities, tooth decay plus plaque will have a hard time sticking to the teeth so that will decrease also.

Xylitol can also help repair previously damaged enamel. This is usually the job of saliva but because of the increased consumption of sugar, this is a job that saliva can no longer do alone.

So by taking in xylitol you will be making sure your saliva is more alkaline because the concentration of basic amino acids and ammonia in saliva.

Xylitol can also have a positive impact in other areas of your health. It can help maintain insulin levels which will then have a positive effect on blood pressure, cholesterol levels and hormonal balance.

Xylitol is reputed to promote more alkalinity in the body, it will maintain calcium levels meaning stronger, healthier bones.

Have you noticed a difference since adding xylitol to your diet? Leave a comment below or tweet us your experiences on @pureandme

Xylitol should never be given to dogs and kept out of reach of any pets. Click here for more information 

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