Sunday, November 13, 2005

Xylitol

We're learning some pretty interesting stuff in our cariology course. Namely, that dental caries is an infectious disease, caused by only a couple malicious strains of bacteria in our mouth, transmitted from mother to child. Got cavities? Go thank your mother.

That, and that xylitol - a naturally occuring sugar substitute - does wonders. You might have seen it on the new packs of Trident gum - "Now with Xylitol!" You can actually reduce or eliminate the levels of the bad bacteria, just by chewing xylitol gum or sucking on xylitol mints. There are also studies that have shown that mothers with newborns can reduce the incidence of childhood caries by 40-70% just by chewing xylitol gum all the time.

How does it work? As our professor explained it, "Xylitol is like broccoli for s. mutans and lactobacilli. When you chew xylitol gum and flood your mouth with xylitol, the bad bacteria basically say, 'Hell, if that's all you're serving at the buffet, I'm gonna eat somewhere else!'"

2 Comments:

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Phil said...

Know what's totally random? One of my classmates was just wondering what Xylitol was on Friday. And now I know. And knowing is half the battle.

 
At 3:43 AM, Blogger superlefty said...

hehehe...go korean gum! ") yes, i know it's an ingredient in many other gums, but the korean gum is actually called xylitol! upfront marketing. hope you're well and caries-free. dental caries sound much nicer than cavities, btw.

 

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