Everybody knows sugars cause cavities and toothaches as well as weight gain. Over the years, many alternative sugars have been developed to combat some of these problems. Finally, there is a good sugar for your teeth and it is called Xylitol. Your body makes 5-10 grams of this natural sugar per day via metabolism of carbohydrates, and it can be manufactured from corn cobs and corn husks. The glycemic index is low (7) vs table sugar (68) and honey (55), which makes it safe for consumption by diabetics. Xylitol has been used to sweeten cookies, cakes, hot drinks and candy.
The primary dental benefit of this sugar is its ability to interfere with the bacteria that cause cavities. It passes through the outer membrane of bacteria, and the bacteria must use its own energy to pump it back out. This disturbs the ability of these bacteria to produce acid which is primarily responsible for tooth decay.
Consumption of 6.7 grams of xylitol per day has been shown to reduce caries by 85% in the Turku Sugar Studies. If mothers chew xylitol gum during first two years of a child’s life, they will significantly reduce transmission of cavity causing strep mutans to their children. In children, it has also been shown to reduce ear infections with regular use.
I recently discovered a dentist-owned company that sells a line of products sweetened with xylitol. For more information about the benefits of xylitol containing products, visit www.drjohns.com. Use our office discount code at checkout for 7.5% off your order. Code: pips88tkx. Enjoy the sweet treats.