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Xylitol for a Healthier Smile and a Healthier Life

Photo of examples of xylitol products.Xylitol Benefits, How to Use, and Where to Purchase - By Carra Demrow, RDH
Preventing tooth decay (starves streptococcus mutans), decreases plaque formation, promotes saliva production to prevent "dry mouth", aids in enhancing mineral absorption for repairing damaged tooth enamel, while increasing tooth strength.
Research has shown that the use of Xylitol helps correct incipient damage to the enamel.

Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth. Saliva containing Xylitol is more alkaline than saliva which contains other sugar products. After taking Xylitol, the concentration ofbasic amino acids in saliva may rise. When pH is above 7, calcium and phosphate salts in saliva start to precipitate into those parts of enamel where they are lacking. Thus, soft, calcium-deficient enamel sites begin to harden again.

With Xylitol, the biofilm that is formed on the teeth is beneficial to teeth. Xylitol biofilm helps to remineralize deeper layers of enamel. (Fluoride can remineralize only the outer layer but not the deeper layers). Xylitol with fluoride will hopefully then lead to complete remineralization!

Xylitol may have a good effect on periodontal disease by inhibiting the inflammation process. 4

Xylitol has been found to increase the activity of white blood cells involved in fighting bacteria and thus may help build immunity, protect against chronic degenerative disease and have anti-aging benefits. It has been proven effective in inhibiting Candida albicans (thrush), a serious yeast condition, and other harmful bacteria, including H. pylori, which is implicated in gum disease, bad breath, ulcers and stomach cancer. 5

Xylitol will take the mouth from acid to alkaline! Instead of trying acid reflex medications - you may want to try Xylitol first. Also, use Xylitol rinse as soon as possible after acidic foods and drinks to stop the acid attack. Then, if possible, follow 1 to 2 minutes later with your toothbrush with the saliva-Xylitol mixture to distribute well over all your teeth.

Xylitol doesn't increase insulin production making it safe for people with Diabetes. (Glycemic index of 7). Diabetics should take in no more than 70 grams spaced throughout the day. Diabetic patients not needing amputation due in part to Xylitol. 2, 3

It looks, feels and tastes like ordinary sugar (sucrose), but has 40 percent fewer calories and 75 percent fewer carbohydrates than sugar. Additionally, Xylitol is not easily converted to fat and has almost no effect on insulin levels, making it a great alternative for diabetics, bodybuilders and dieters. Xylitol also is considered safe for pregnant and nursing women, babies and children.

Aphthous ulcers (canker sores) - numerous volunteers experienced rapid pain relief when they allowed some Xylitol to melt in their mouth 4 times a day or more and then gingerly spread the sweet saliva over the sore area using their tongue. Or use Xylitol gel which is an even simpler method of application.

Xylitol could help with Crone's disease - mix 1 tsp. of Xylitol with water and sip throughout the day. Also found sites stating Xylitol could be an irritant for Crone's and IBS. Please talk with your M.D. to discuss your situation before using Xylitol.

Xylitol was shown to help improve bone density in rats. This indicates it has potential as a treatment for osteoporosis in humans. 1

Xylitol may help lower your risk of developing ovarian cysts, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids, endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome and possibly breast cancer.

Xylitol reduces intraocular pressure (condition that can develop into glaucoma) - a topical solution containing Xylitol resulted in lower intraocular pressure.

When taken in small amounts Xylitol can increase white blood cell activity in fighting bacterial infections, to help build immunity, protect against chronic degenerative disease and have anti-aging benefits.

When used as a nasal spray (or in a netti pot) Xylitol helps reduce prevalence of sinus infections, asthma and allergies. It helps decrease the amount of harmful bacteria that may be in the cells of our nose. (If you suffer from sinus infections, asthma or allergies you should read: http://www.drhoffman.com/936)

When used by nursing mothers on a regular basis, it helps reduce the transmission of Streptococcus mutans to children by up to 80% during the first 2 years. 7

Use pacifier with Xylitol gel, or dip clean end of Q-tip into gel and swab on small child's teeth. The gel is safe to swallow. Start using 1 year prior to the adult teeth erupting for 5-year protection to achieve a 93% decrease in tooth decay. Since bacteria can be transferred from one person to another by direct contact (iE-sharing eating utensils, and/or kissing) all family members who would have direct contact should also use Xylitol.

Xylitol does not cross placenta barrier or enter into breast milk. Breast-feeding does not increase tooth decay risk. In fact it increases antibodies against tooth decay!

Xylitol can replace sugar in cooking, in beverages as a sweetener, and baking except in recipes that require yeast to rise.

Xylitol needs to be the first ingredient listed in whichever form you choose to use (granular "sugar", mints, gum, rinse, toothpaste, oral spray, etc) to get the maximum benefit. Don't use products that have added sorbitol, or other "-tols". They work against Xylitol, causing it to be less effective.

How to use - 6 to 10 grams per day - (4 grams of sugar is about 1 teaspoon)

Xylitol should be used immediately after a meal or snack. Xylitol needs to be used daily on an ongoing basis, and used at separate intervals throughout the day. The body can only process a small amount of Xylitol at a time. Xylitol does not replace brushing or flossing.

The most economical way to use Xylitol (3 times a day)
Use your tongue cleaner first. Next floss, and then use Xylitol to rinse and brush:
- 1/2 teaspoon of Xylitol granular "sugar" (or more) - put in mouth.
- Let Xylitol dissolve in mouth and then swish vigorously with mixture a minimum of 1 minute, but better if 5 minutes. Spit when done rinsing, or continue to use mixture to brush teeth*. Spit, but do not rinse out.
- The longer you can expose your teeth to Xylitol the better your outcome - teeth will feel as smooth as porcelain, desensitization of previously sensitive tooth necks, plaque reduction etc.
- If you miss the peppermint flavor of normal toothpaste, simply add a drop of essential peppermint oil (use organic if at all possible) to your Xylitol. 6

1/2 tsp per each 8 oz of warm water can be put in Waterpik, or in cold water for sipping throughout day.

If you have trouble containing the Xylitol mixture in your mouth while brushing try these tips: decrease the amount of Xylitol, or start brushing immediately instead of waiting for Xylitol to dissolve, stand up straight, and keep your mouth as closed as possible. Granular "sugar" can be put in blender to make crystals smaller.

Dentures, partials, mouth guards and bite guards can be cleaned and kept odor free by soaking in a 10-20% Xylitol water solution.

At high dosages Xylitol can cause GI upset/diarrhea. For children that is 45 grams per day, and 60 grams per day for adults.

Dr. Bruhn writes, even with many hundreds of patients, he has never seen the Xylitol treatment fail using a dose of 5 g of Xylitol 3 times daily and for 2 weeks invariably led to a sweeping improvement in the patient's oral condition. Subsequently, they continued on a reduced maintenance dose since apparently the bacteria, once suppressed in this manner, can be kept under control using a decreased dosage of Xylitol. 5

Where to purchase Xylitol and Xylitol Products
www.Xylitolusa.com - Made in the USA from birch trees
www.emeraldforestXylitol.com - Made in the USA from birch trees
www.globalsweet.com - Made in the USA from birch trees
www.spry.com - Made in China from corncob
www.drraysproducts.com "Spiffies" infants toothwipes

In person
Store Locator

Photo of the XyloSweet product.

Online Sources

Other Info
Possible Side Effects from Xylitol:
- GI upset (gas/diarrhea)
- Adults: 60gms at a sitting, Children: 45 grams at a sitting)
- Do not use with IV nutrition - could shut down kidneys

Current Xylitol Studies
Currently, there are further studies being conducted on the following topics:
- Will Xylitol help with Arthritis?
- Will Xylitol help with Alzheimer's disease?

Check back here often for updates.

It is not recommend that Xylitol-containing products be given to pets, especially dogs. Xylitol is poisonous to dogs, and ingestion of Xylitol by dogs is almost always fatal to the dog. See www.xlear.com/Xylitol-and-dogs.aspx for more info.

1 http://www.xylitolcanada.com/media3.htm
2 http://bacteriality.com/2008/04/13/wolcott/
3 http://www.drhoffman.com/936
4 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1287760/
5 http://yourfriendlyneighbourhooddentist.blogspot.com/2010_11_01_archive.html
6 http://www.healingteethnaturally.com
7 http://pptu.lefora.com/2011/06/07/xylitol-prevents-biofilms/