Ever heard of xylitol? Xylitol is a safe natural sweetener that has a calorie content of 40 percent lower compared with sugar but it serves the same sweet taste as sugar. Usually, people will think twice whether to consume candy, confectionery, or sweet foods in large quantities because of the fear of excess sugar in the body. Although we know there are several Benefits of Sugar for Health, however it would be better if you are also informed about Health Risks of Consuming too Much Sugar.
But, thanks to the content of xylitol that is now beginning to be incorporated into candy or confectionery, it helps people to consume them comfortably. There are several health benefits of xylitol. However, we will especially get the health benefits of xylitol for teeth if we consumed it.
What is xylitol?
Xylitol is a substance that has another name that is ‘sugar alcohol’. Xylitol is used as a natural sweetener to replace regular sugar. Xylitol comes from an extract of a hardwood plant named ‘birch’ that you can find in Finland. But, xylitol can also be found naturally in some fruits and vegetables such as berries, wheat, mushrooms, and extraction of corn fiber, raspberries, plums, and corn kernels.
In fact, xylitol is also produced by the normal glucose metabolism of the human body between 0.03-0.06 mg per 100 ml. What makes xylitol better than regular sugar? This is because the content of calories owned by xylitol 40% lower than sugar. In addition, xylitol also contains 75% fewer carbohydrates than sugar so it is very safe to be consumed by diabetics. You also can try to feel the Health Benefits of Stevia Leaf, the other natural sweetener for diabetic. Xylitol may help maintain pH levels in the mouth.
Since xylitol is a natural sweetener that has recently begun to be incorporated into the production of sweets and other sweet foods, then what are the health benefits of xylitol for teeth?
1. Avoiding cavities
One cause of cavities is due to bacteria. Do you know about the dangerous of Streptococcus Bacteria Infections? If you consume ordinary sugar, M. Streptococcus bacteria will metabolize the sugar into lactic acid that triggers cavities. However, xylitol has antimicrobial properties. These antimicrobial properties serve to fight bacteria and maintain the function of saliva in neutralizing the acidity of plaque more perfectly. Thus, by consuming xylitol you will be avoided from the perforated tooth problem.
2. Prevent the growth of harmful bacteria for teeth.
A study conducted by Fraga et al in the journal Brazilian Oral Research proves that xylitol has a role to inhibit the growth of bacteria that can cause tooth decay. This is done by giving 1 gram of xylitol per day in the form of gum in adults. As a result, after 30 days the content of the mutant streptococci bacteria was reduced by 69% in their mouth.
3. Prevent inflammation of the gum
Do you know what is gingivitis? Gingivitis is an inflammatory disorder of the gums caused by the buildup of gingivitis bacteria. The results of a study conducted by Kandelman and Gagnon in 1987 in children ages 8 to 9 who had consumed a variety of foods but subsequently consumed xylitol showed a reaction to a reduction in tooth damage by 55%. This study proves that xylitol can prevent gingivitis or inflammation of the gums.
4. Maintain healthy gum
Xylitol is very beneficial to be consumed by children. A study in the journal Arch Pediatric Adolesc Medical has proven that. Research conducted by giving xylitol and sorbitol in the form of syrup in a number of children aged 9 to 15 years, has proven that xylitol is beneficial to maintain healthy gums and prevent porous teeth.
5. Reduce plaque on the teeth
Xylitol has the benefit of helping to reduce bacteria that can cause teeth holes. Xylitol can cause the amount of acid producing bacteria to fall by as much as 90%. If you consume xylitol, the bacteria will not stick to the tooth surface and your plaque on your teeth will decrease.
This has been proven by a study. A study conducted by the Center of Saliva Studies Faculty of Dentistry Trisakti University has given results that by chewing gum that has xylitol content in it three times a day provides benefits that stabilize the acidity of dental plaque and reduce the quantity of dental plaque.
6. Overcoming dental caries
Dental caries is an infectious disease that damages the tooth structure that causes cavities. Dental caries can cause pain, tooth loss, infection, various dangerous cases, and even death. Xylitol can be relied upon to solve this problem. How?
Prof Kauko K Makinen who is Professor of Dentistry University of Turku, Finland and also an expert xylitol advise chewing one or two grains of gum that have at least 50% xylitol content in it of all sweeteners after eating and after toothbrush. This way can reduce the risk of dental caries. Or another way is to consume xylitol between 6 to 12 grams per day to reduce the risk of dental caries.
Another health benefits of xylitol for teeth are:
- Xylitol helps tooth remineralization. How? Xylitol maintains the function of saliva. One of the functions of saliva is to remineralize the tooth, which is to reshape the mineral layer of the tooth dissolved by the acid compound, so that demineralization and remineralization process can run in balance.
- Xylitol has a function to stimulate salivary flow which has an effect in maintaining minerals that maintain healthy tooth enamel.
- By using xylitol after brushing and before bedtime, xylitol can protect and heal teeth and gums.
- Xylitol can stop the fermentation process which is the cause of damage to the teeth.
How to consume xylitol?
Recently, a lot of chewing gum is produced by incorporating xylitol content into it. Thus, one effective way to consume xylitol is to chew gum that containing xylitol for at least 5 minutes. You should know about the Benefits of Chewing Gums.
Side effects consume xylitol
Xylitol is slowly absorbed by the intestine. Because of this nature, it is not advisable to consume excessive xylitol because it can cause mild diarrhea. However, no other harmful health impacts if you consume xylitol with the recommended amount.