Oh My That’s Sweet!!

What is Xylitol and is it Safe?

Xylitol gumMore and more of us are trying to cut down on our sugar intake and maintain good overall health. Because of this, sugar substitutes are becoming more available. One of these substitutes is Xylitol. There are some benefits to Xylitol and there are some side effects as well.

What is Xylitol? Xylitol is an alcohol that occurs naturally in most plant material, it is typically extracted from birch wood. As a sugar substitute it aids in cavity prevention.

Xylitol doesn’t break down like sugar, so the bacteria in your mouth won’t feed on it like it does actual sugar. In fact, Xylitol can help neutralize the acid level in your mouth, thus helping to prevent tooth decay from occurring. It also prevents bacteria from sticking to your teeth. So if you use products that contain Xylitol, such as, chewing gum, toothpaste or mouth rinses, you can significantly reduce cavities from forming.

In my next post we’ll discuss how much Xylitol should you have, what are the side effects and if it’s safe for pets.

If you live in the Englewood, Colorado area and would like to set up an appointment with one of our dentists, please give us a call today at 303-781-0624. Or you can schedule an appointment online.