It was discovered by German and French chemists in the late 19th century and popularized in Europe as a safe sweetener that would not impact insulin levels in diabetics. In addition to being primarily used around the world for natural sweetening purposes, xylitol’s applications also include oral hygiene products, such as toothpaste, fluoride tablets and mouthwashes. The dental significance of xylitol was researched in Finland in the early 1970’s, and shown by scientists from Turku University to have significant dental benefits. Xylitol was proven to be a ‘tooth-friendly’ sugar alcohol, which does not contribute to tooth decay.
Xylitol has proven effective in fighting bacteria, which is a significant contributor to tooth decay. It is able to do this because tooth destroying bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) cannot utilize xylitol to grow. As stated by the California Dental Association, “Over time with xylitol use, the quality of the bacteria in the mouth changes and fewer and fewer decay-causing bacteria survive on tooth surfaces. Less plaque forms and the level of acids attacking the tooth surface is lowered.” Research from Finland in the 1970’s revealed that a study group chewing sucrose (sugared) gum had 2.92 decayed, missing or filled teeth compared to 1.04 in the group chewing xylitol gums. Recent research confirms xylitol’s ability to reduce plaque and destroy harmful microorganisms, which can damage teeth. In several studies sponsored by the World Health Organization, participants using xylitol products including gums, toothpaste, and candies developed fewer cavities than those receiving placebo or no treatment.
In addition, xylitol is kid friendly! Double-blind studies with almost 4,000 people, mostly children, found that xylitol can prevent cavities. The trials used xylitol-sweetened gum, candles, or toothpaste, with gum providing the best evidence. One study suggested gummi bears may be an effective alternative method for administering xylitol to children. Another double-blind, placebo-controlled trial studied 1,677 children in a comparison of standard fluoride toothpaste with a similar toothpaste containing 10% xylitol. Over the course of the 3-year study, children given xylitol-enriched toothpaste developed significantly fewer cavities than those in the fluoride-only group. You can relax and enjoy all of Nature's Flavors’ great tasting products knowing we use only the purest, natural ingredients on the planet for our nutritional creations. We specialize in natural flavorings and sweeteners, which are not only good for your palette, but good for you!