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Healthy Mouth

Posted on by Evergreen Nutrition
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A TASTY TREAT THAT'S GOOD FOR TEETH!

Xylitol is a 5-carbon sugar alcohol that promotes good oral health in several ways. For example, it can replace less healthy sweets in the diet and it prevents bacteria from sticking to teeth. Since xylitol stops the acid-producing fermentation that leads to tooth decay, it contributes to a healthy oral pH. An alkaline environment suppresses cavity-causing pathogens (especially Streptococcus mutans which lives on teeth) and inhibits plaque formation and demineralization of tooth enamel. Also, xylitol helps repair small cavities by remineralizing damaged teeth. Even the FDA recognizes that xylitol-based products do not promote dental caries!

Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a potentially serious condition causing difficulty tasting, chewing, swallowing, and speaking as well as increasing the risk of tooth decay, oral infections, and gingivitis. Xylitol stimulates salivary secretion which helps maintain a healthy oral pH. Consistently using small amounts of xylitol increases the buffering and protective action of saliva; since chewing also promotes salivation, chewing xylitol gum is helpful.

Extensive research shows xylitol to be safe and effective. For those who prefer not to use fluoride, xylitol is an alternative. So check out these xylitol products: toothpaste, tooth gel for babies, an oral rinse and dry mouth spray. We also stock xylitol chewing gum and candy in a variety of flavors including peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, lemon, berry and even green tea ó something for everyone. It is advisable to chew xylitol gum or candy after eating and we have some fun little tubes of xylitol candy in berry, citrus, and fruit flavors which can be tossed into a lunch box or purse.

BLOOD SUGAR & WEIGHT LOSS

The glycemic index (GI) measures the rise in blood sugar after eating a specified food. Since xylitol is absorbed more slowly than sugar, its glycemic index is only 7, whereas sugarís GI is a whopping 100! Containing 40% less calories than sugar, xylitol is just as sweet without the risk of hyperglycemia. Eating xylitol can satisfy a sweet tooth while decreasing calories, and slower absorption leaves one feeling satisfied longer.

STRONG BONES

Xylitol is recommended to help reduce bone loss. Eating xylitol (1.4 oz./day) strengthens bones by improving intestinal absorption of calcium independent of Vitamin D, and increasing bone concentrations of calcium and phosphorus. It also enhances absorption of iron and magnesium. Xylitol has no known toxicity, but like most sugar alcohols, can have a mild laxative effect at high doses, so start with small amounts until your body becomes accustomed to it. (Dog lovers note that xylitol is toxic to dogs.) For your convenience, we carry xylitol in powdered form for use in beverages and cooking, making it easy to get a therapeutic dose.

UPPER RESPIRATORY & EAR INFECTIONS

Ear infections are often preceded by upper respiratory infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and other pathogens. A xylitol-saline spray, like Xlear Nasal Wash, prevents adhesion of bacteria and enhances innate nasal defensive cleansing reducing the risk of infection. Symptoms of allergies and asthma caused by nasal irritants are also reduced by using a xylitol spray. Studies show that chewing xylitol gum helps prevent ear infections, too. The act of chewing and swallowing assists with clearing the ears, while the presence of xylitol prevents the growth of bacteria in the eustachian tubes. Also, consuming just 1/4-1/3 ounce per day of xylitol (in 5 divided doses) can help prevent ear infections and decrease the need for antibiotics.

From Evergreen's Archive: September 2007

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The information provided here is for educational purposes only. None of the research or evidence presented here is intended as a substitute for consulting an appropriate healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products offered here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you believe that you may have a disease condition, please consult your healthcare practitioner before using this or any other dietary supplement.

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