Xylitol: The X Factor in Preventative Dentistry

SteveBranam, DDS

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Job Title / Position: Pediatric Dentist and Founder of Branam Smile

Website: www.BranamSmile.com

Contact Information:  855-561-4948

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Xylitol is a naturally derived sweetener. 90% of all sugars are digested in the mouth; therefore cause tooth decay.  The absence of sugar in the mouth (Xylitol) decreases oral bacterial growth, which is a key component of tooth decay.

The CDC recognizes early childhood tooth decay as the Number ONE chronic disease affecting 28% of the 25 million American children under the age of six.

It is also highly effective in Adults reducing bacteria as much as 70%, as shown in over 200 articles on this subject.  Thus, with the reduction of bacteria, the better chance you have of preventing   periodontal disease from occurring.  It is safe for patients with diabetes, and geriatric patients, since it is safe to swallow, and it also helps prevent dry mouth.

Wouldn’t you want fewer cavities, and a better fighting chance against gum disease?  The key is to use a clinical concentration of xylitol in the range of 6 to 10 grams per day.


    • Hi Penny,

      Thank you for your question. Based on your question regarding the inability to use or consume corn based Xylitol, I will assume it is due to an allergy.

      There are two primary sources for Xylitol which include corn and birch. While other derivatives exist, these two are most prevalent. You will need to seek out birch based Xylitol products. I would contact the manufacturer directly and pose the question. In our case, we use both corn and birch as the main derivative. In all of our corn, it is always derived from non-GMO sources.

      In short, I recommend contacting the manufacturing sources directly to pose the question. I would make a recommendation, but I am not familiar with a company who uses birch exclusively in their manufacturing process.

      I hope this helps you and thank you for your questions.


      Dr. Branam

  1. There is a question I would like the dentist to address about xylitol: why is it a poison for dogs. I have heard reports that even getting a stick of xylitol from gum can mean the life of a dog. I have a friend who has a service dog who is a highly trained seizure alert dog. Her name is Misty and she is an adorable sheltie and everywhere she goes people comment on what a beautiful and well trained dog. She is almost perfect in her performance and got all A’s on her training evaluations. When I eat snacks or meals that we use xylitol in I am so afraid I will forget and give her a bite or that she will find it and eat it.

    Why is xylitol so much of a poison for dogs?????? Why is it safe for us but not dogs. From Carol S. a dog lover

  2. Hi Carol. Thank you for the question. We get this one frequently. Xylitol has no known toxicity or carcinogenicity to humans. It is listed by the US Food and Drug Administration as an ingredient that is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). Canine ingestion of xylitol promotes the release of insulin and disrupts a dog’s normal glucose levels, causing hypoglycemia. The equivalent of a sugar crash. Chocolate and other sweets are other examples of items dog’s should not ingest. Hope this helps – great question.

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