Tooth Fillings Morrisville
Are you familiar with xylitol? It is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol, usually processed from birch trees and corn cobs, that has gained attention as a sugar substitute—and potentially a dental hygiene game-changer. You might wonder how anything sweet can improve your oral health and help you avoid tooth fillings in Morrisville, North Carolina. Here are some facts about xylitol.
Xylitol May Prevent Cavities
Dental caries (cavities) are the result of Streptococcus mutans, one of the many oral bacteria living in the human mouth. They also mean a trip to the dentist for tooth fillings in Morrisville. This bacteria feeds on the sugar you eat, and it produces acid that can erode tooth enamel and contribute to cavities, plaque production, gum disease, decay, and eventually tooth loss. Although xylitol is a sugar alcohol, bacteria can’t digest it. Instead of being broken down to create acid, xylitol can actually raise the pH of the mouth. An alkaline oral cavity limits the growth of bacteria. When the pH is alkaline, calcium and phosphate salts found in the saliva start to move into the weak parts of the enamel, thus fortifying it. The softened, calcium-deficient enamel areas begin to harden.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the daily amount of xylitol consumed should fall within a range of three to eight grams and be taken throughout the day for maximum benefits and to help reduce the need for tooth fillings in Morrisville.
Although there are scientific reasons why xylitol can fight cavities, clinical studies showing that xylitol reduces cavities are difficult to perform, and research has come to varied conclusions.
More Facts About Xylitol
Xylitol is typically found in the following products:
- Mints and candies
Xylitol is not sugar-free, although it is a reduced-calorie sweetener, contains 40% fewer calories than sugar and 75% fewer carbohydrates. Although it has a low glycemic index, it may still affect blood glucose levels, so diabetics should use it only under the care of their physician.
Xylitol pulls water into the intestinal tract (as do many sugars), which can lead to bloating, gas, and diarrhea. People who already suffer from these conditions, like those with IBS, should probably avoid it. If it is introduced into the diet slowly, for over a week or more, the digestive tract may have an easier time acclimating to it.
Xylitol can be hazardous for pets! According to the ASPCA, xylitol can be dangerous for dogs, causing low blood sugar and liver injury. It likely does not cause serious problems in cats or ferrets.
If you are looking for an alternative to refined sugar, xylitol may be a good option. However, it is still highly processed using a multi-step chemical reaction and may be derived from questionably healthy genetically-modified corn. As more research and trials study its effects, more light will continue to be shed on its efficacy for oral hygiene and the reduction of tooth fillings in Morrisville.
Some dentists feel they have a responsibility to educate their patients on trending topics. However, regular visits to your dentist are still a priority, as is a healthy diet and maintaining a daily routine of brushing and flossing. To find out more, contact Alliance Dentistry to schedule an appointment, especially if you are in need of tooth fillings Morrisville families sometimes have to deal with.