I wrote about xylitol when I discovered it in Japan four years ago, and that remains one of my most popular posts.  Although I did not experiment further with xylitol as a sugar substitute, I continued to use it as a dental rinse, swishing a small spoonful around in my mouth after brushing my teeth at night.

Until I started worrying about the fact that the xylitol I had was made in China, that is.  Chinese manufacturers were caught substituting poisonous substances for more expensive, safe ingredients in toothpaste and children's toys, as I wrote about in 2007, and later in baby formula, candy, and other products containing milk.  I wrote to the manufacturer of my xylitol, seeking reassurance, but received no answer.

So I got lazy, and simply eliminated the xylitol rinse from my tooth-cleaning routine.  That was a year ago, and six months later the dental hygienist wondered what was going on:  my gums, which had been healthy for years, were now a mess.

The only change in my routine had been that I was no longer using the xylitol.  Chastened, I decided to assume diligence and responsibility on the part of the manufacturer, and resumed my nighttime rinsing.

This week I returned to the dentist and the hygienist was wowed by the positive changes and return to health of my gums.

Did xylitol make the difference?  It's hard not to come to that conclusion.*  At any rate, I don't intend to repeat the experiment if I can help it, even though it still feels strange to rinse my mouth with something sweet, especially without brushing my teeth afterwards!


*Disclaimer:  I am not a dentist, dental hygienist, doctor, nutritionist, chemist, biologist, or any other "ist" that qualifies me to make medical or dental proclamations.   I am an intelligent human being reporting on the apparent effect of xylitol on my own dental health.  Your mileage may vary.
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 7:14 am | Edit
Permalink | Read 3396 times
Category Health: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Everyday Life: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

I've never found anything to correlate with how my dental visits go. I used to try harder to keep up with brushing and flossing, but discovered that it wasn't any better when I went to the dentist.

Posted by Jon Daley on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I'd never found a correlation either—until this.

Posted by SursumCorda on Sunday, June 20, 2010 at 2:51 pm

China isn't the only place that makes Xylitol. It's made in Europe and the good ol' USA. Many reputable health food stores can get you non-China made Xylitol.

I have read that the process for making Xylitol is fairly universal. It's the products used for conversion that differ. Corn husks, which we have plenty of it, is one of the main sources but Xylitol sans a corn base can be had.

However, I am curious as to what "corn" characteristics Xylitol can have after processing. I remember reading that corn husks may not have the negative properties or the corn kernel. Will see if I can find a legitimate info source.

I am not allowed corn or wheat in any form- rats to beer. Anyone who has sources to what corn characteristics could still remain after processing, please post them. Until I know, I will choose non-corn based Xylitol when I can get it, even though the cost is somewhat more.


Posted by mhikl on Friday, November 05, 2010 at 3:17 pm
Xylitol Warning
Excerpt: Ten years ago I discovered xylitol and the positive effects it had on the health of my gums. Four years later I reported on my unintentional experiment in which I discovered that regular use of xylitol in my dental care routine kept my teeth in be...
Weblog: Lift Up Your Hearts!
Date: July 24, 2016, 10:24 am