How Xylitol Reduces Bacteria
Xylitol Inhibits Growth
Cavity-causing bacteria are obsessed with sugar in the same way that most trick-or-treaters are. Fortunately for your teeth, experts tell us these same bacteria mistake xylitol for sugar and bring it into their cellular walls through an uptake system that converts it into an unusable molecule (xylitol phosphate). Over time, the unusable xylitol builds up inside the cell and effectively clogs up the bacteria's digestive system.
The California Dental Association explains xylitol's incredible power this way:
"Xylitol inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause cavities. It does this because these bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) cannot utilize xylitol to grow.
Over time with xylitol use, the quality of the bacteria in the mouth changes and fewer and fewer decay-causing bacteria survive on tooth surfaces. Less plaque forms and the level of acids attacking the tooth surface is lowered."*
Regular Use May Reduce the Risk of Tooth Decay
Dental experts recommend the regular use of 6-8 grams of xylitol per day to protect your teeth.
*Hatsue Kakutaa, Yoshimichi Iwami, et al. Xylitol Inhibition of Acid Production and Growth of Mutans Streptococci in the Presence of Various Dietary Sugars under Strictly Anaerobic Conditions. Caries Res 2003; 37:404-409.