Prevent Tooth Decay and Gum Disease with Xylitol
Tooth decay and gum disease pose serious problems for the health, function and appearance of your smile. Both of these oral health issues can weaken teeth and cause tooth loss, which is a significant detriment to your overall wellbeing. While twice daily brushing and flossing helps keep decay and periodontal disease at-bay, there are times that this may not be enough. Patients who have hereditary issues with gum disease or who have previously had teeth treated for decay are at a higher risk for further complications.
At For Brighter Smiles, Dr. Ellis and his team are focused on making sure your smile is healthy for life. Part of our Midlothian dental office’s method of preventive education and routine dental care is the recommended use of Xylitol for any patient, especially those who are at a higher risk for gum disease and dental caries.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a naturally-occurring, sweet-tasting, sugar alcohol that is found in different fruits and vegetables. Xylitol is also present in small amounts in oats, birch tree sap, and corn husks or cobs. Unlike the standard sugar we’re all used to, however, Xylitol does not produce acid that damages teeth or many of the other negative side-effects of eating too many sugary foods.
How Does Xylitol Prevent Decay and Disease?
Xylitol is classified as a bacteriostatic, which means it stops bacteria from re-producing and lowers the population of bacteria that may be present on teeth and below the gum line. Xylitol can be taken in many forms for use in preventing tooth decay and gum disease, such as chewing gum, mints, mouth rinses, nasal spray, toothpaste, and floss. Xylitol is also naturally sweet, so there’s no strange or medicinal taste to oral health products that use this preventive health aid.
Dr. Ellis uses a trusted name in dental health aids that contain Xylitol, called Spry. With the use of these dental products, Dr. Ellis reports seeing remarkable results. As Xylitol limits the production of oral bacteria, patients with gum disease experience reduced soft tissue irritation and bleeding. Xylitol also lowers acid levels on your teeth, which prevents the development of tooth decay, and has been shown to re-mineralize dental enamel, making teeth stronger over time.
Using Xylitol as a Follow-Up for Periodontal Treatments
Patients with gum disease are often treated with a periodontal deep cleaning, or root scaling and planing, to clean pockets of debris and bacteria from below the gum line and on the roots of teeth. Preventing the formation of new bacteria is essential in caring for your smile after periodontal therapy, which is where Xylitol becomes important. Something as simple as routinely chewing gum that contains Xylitol or using a Xylitol oral rinse limits the growth of new bacteria and allows soft tissue to heal and recover.
Learn More about Protecting Your Smile with Xylitol
Our Midlothian dental office finds that just about anyone can benefit from caring for their smile with Xylitol oral health aids. For more information on preventive dentistry with Xylitol, contact Dr. Ellis or request an appointment for your next teeth cleaning or routine dental visit.