You may have heard that chewing sugar-free gum after meals can reduce your risk for tooth decay, but did you know that the xylitol sweetener often found in this type of gum can do even more for your dental health? Keep reading to learn about the benefits of sugar-free chewing gums and the xylitol found in them.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener which comes from birch trees. One of the reasons it benefits your oral health is because it is used as a replacement for sugar in chewing gum. When sugar enters your mouth, plaque bacteria create acids from it. However, studies show that xylitol actually inhibits the growth of these bacteria and their acid production because they cannot process xylitol the way they do sugar. As a result, xylitol reduces the amount of these bacteria in your mouth.
Another benefit of xylitol is that it helps to prevent plaque bacteria from sticking to your smile. It does this by stopping the production of the sticky substances that let bacteria collect on a tooth’s surface. When you chew sugar-free gum containing xylitol after meals, you are protecting your teeth from the harmful bacteria and acids that decay them. Call our dental practice today if you would like to learn more about sugar-free gum and the benefits of xylitol.