From Your Health Journal…..”I love the New York Times blog, and in today’s article review, we will be looking at a great post by Anahad O’Connor asking, Does Sugar-Free Gum Helps Prevent Cavities? Anahad examines to claims by the sugar free gum products that their gum helps clean and protect teeth while preventing cavities. The article continues by discussing xylitor, which is a natural sweetener found in gum that fights cavity forming bacteria, but the article states how this natural sweetener all alone may not be fighting the cavities, rather, the act of chewing gum may be doing the trick. One study concluded that while xylitol itself may not be so protective, the increased salivary flow caused by chewing gum may be beneficial, as it rinses away plaque and acid. What is your opinion? For me, not sure, although I do enjoy the sugar free gum more – but chewing gum does seem to help fight cavities. Please visit the New York Times site (link provided below) to read the entire article.”
From the article…..
Cleans and protects teeth. Helps prevent cavities. So say the most popular brands of sugar-free gum. But do their claims stand up to scrutiny?
Many brands contain an additive called xylitol, a natural sweetener known to fight cavity-causing bacteria. In practice, though, it’s not clear that xylitol has much impact. Some research suggests that while sugar-free gum does prevent cavities, xylitol per se is not responsible. Instead, it is the act itself of chewing gum that seems to prevent cavities.
One new study, published this month in The Journal of the American Dental Association, seems to confirm this. The largest and most thorough look at the subject to date, the study tracked 691 adults recruited from dental clinics around the country for three years. The subjects were randomly assigned to groups consuming xylitol lozenges five times a day or a similar tasting placebo.
Ultimately, those who received the xylitol had no statistically significant reduction in cavities, a finding that came as a surprise, said Dr. James D. Bader of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We assumed there was a reasonably good chance that xylitol was going to be effective,” he said.
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