Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. In the dental world, xylitol is widely used as a sugar substitute and in “sugar-free” chewing gums, mints, and other candies. You already know that sugar is bad for your teeth, which is why at Garrison Family Dentistry we’d like to tell you that when shopping for chewing gum you should look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval on the packaging.
Xylitol tastes sweet but, unlike sugar, it is not converted in the mouth to acids that cause tooth decay. In fact, it reduces levels of decay-causing bacteria in saliva and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. No acid is formed because the pH of saliva and does not fall. After chewing gum with xylitol, the bacteria do not stick well on the surface of teeth and as a result, the amount of plaque decreases.
If you have questions about the benefits of xylitol, give us a call. To learn more about the services provided at Garrison Family Dentistry, visit www.garrisonfamilydentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Matthew Garrison in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.