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Gum Chewers Have Reason to Smile About Xylitol

Chapter: How Cavities Form

"I use xylitol and have recommended products that contain xylitol, such as mouthrinses, for patients with dry mouth," says AGD spokesperson John Chandler, DDS, MAGD. "While dentists need to monitor the continuing research on xylitol, I do see a place for patients using xylitol in conjunction with good oral health care."


A U.S. government study indicates that approximately 90 percent of all American adults have experienced cavities; 23 percent suffer from untreated cavities, which can result in serious oral health problems including pain and eventual tooth loss. Experts recommend using xylitol immediately after meals and snacks to help reduce plaque, inhibit adhesion of bacteria to the teeth and reduce contact time of sugar on teeth.


Reviewed: January 2012