Does Xylitol Actually Help Prevent Cavities?
For years, sugarless chewing gum manufacturers have claimed that their products can prevent cavities. Numerous studies seem to support these assertions; however, new research seems to suggest the reasons weren’t what many thought. Most credited the sweetener xylitol for giving sugarless gum its cavity-preventing power, but a recent study seems to prove that this isn’t the case. Published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, the study looked at nearly 700 adult subjects over 3 years. Half the participants were told to consume xylitol lozenges five times per day, while the other half received placebo lozenges instead. In the end, researchers found no difference in cavity development between the two groups, indicating that xylitol itself offered no real protection against cavities.
According to researchers, this latest study suggests that it’s the act of chewing that reduces the risk of cavity development. This makes sense when you consider the fact that chewing increases saliva production, which helps prevent plaque from accumulating on teeth.
According to the article, 20 percent of Americans have untreated cavities. This startling statistic suggests that a large portion of the U.S. population fails to regularly meet with an experienced dentist, who would identify these problems before they lead to serious decay.
Don’t risk losing your teeth to infections and decay. To ensure that your dental health is up to par, call Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins at (509) 532-1111 in Spokane to schedule regular cleanings and checkups.