Xylitol Chewing Gum: Is It Safe?

Jul 30, 2021 | Dental Health, General Dentistry

Xylitol Chewing Gum: Is It Safe?

Are you having second thoughts about your xylitol chewing gum?

Cutting down sugar intake is one of the healthiest decisions of our life. You can look forward to fewer diseases and get rid of all the worthless calories that come with refined sugar. However, you still need to have something sweet in your life!

Fortunately, we have a range of sugar-free alternatives that satisfy your sweet tooth without consequences. Among them, xylitol is a popular choice for its low calories and health benefits. It doesn’t contain any sugar and occurs naturally.

In addition, you may also prevent cavities and achieve better dental health.

Today, many products like candies and mints use sugar-free xylitol. They are also found in chewing gums that are quite a trend worldwide.
But can you take them without worries?

We will find out the answer in today’s blog and also learn more about xylitol. Additionally, we will explore if the sugar alternative can benefit your health.

Key Takeaways

  • Xylitol is a natural sugar alternative with 40% fewer calories than table sugar.

  • Xylitol chewing gum is safe to consume in moderation and does not have negative effects on blood sugar or insulin levels.

  • Xylitol chewing gum may have benefits such as preventing cavities, remineralizing teeth, reversing mild gum diseases, promoting saliva flow, freshening breath, and not spiking blood sugar levels.

  • Xylitol is found in various products such as mouthwash, toothpaste, candy, peanut butter, jams, and oral-care products.

  • Some potential side effects of xylitol may include gas, bloating, or diarrhea, but these symptoms are usually temporary and go away within a few days.



What is xylitol?

We need to ask the right question to get to the depths of matters – what is xylitol?

Xylitol is a natural alcohol present in parts of plants like vegetables and fruits. It carries the properties of sugar molecules and produces a sweet taste in our mouths. However, xylitol has 40% fewer calories compared to table sugar.

Humans also produce the sugar alcohol as a byproduct of metabolism. As a result, xylitol is a safe alternative and a natural product. You don’t have to worry about the ill effects of table sugar when you switch it with xylitol.


Is xylitol chewing gum safe?

Xylitol is present in countless products available in the store. Chances are, you have already used something with xylitol in it, like mouthwash or toothpaste. It is also found in sugar-free candy, peanut butter, jams, and even oral-care products.

Therefore, xylitol is a safe alternative to sugar used across the world.

You can safely consume xylitol products in moderation. So, for a xylitol chewing gum, 2 – 3 pieces would be a moderate amount to consume. For example, in some studies, the participants took up to 4 xylitol gums in a day for a year.

In addition, you don’t have any concerns about xylitol side effects. Humans tolerate it very well, even in the long term. Participants had taken 3.3 pounds of xylitol per month for two years without any negative consequences in studies.

However, you may experience gas, bloating, or diarrhea when you begin your xylitol regime. The symptoms usually go away within a few days.

People with diabetes can also safely chew xylitol gums. It has no sugar or fructose and creates minimal effects on your blood sugar or insulin.

As a result, you can safely consume xylitol even if you have diabetes. We have many studies that conclude the same and recommend xylitol as a sugar replacement.


Benefits of xylitol chewing gum

What are the benefits of xylitol sugar-free gums?

People generally dismiss the benefits of chewing gum due to its sugar content. However, xylitol is a healthy chewing gum without sugar and packs many health benefits.

Let’s find out what they are!

1. Prevents cavities

Tooth decay is the leading cause of cavities. Xylitol can starve the bad bacteria in your mouth to death and prevent the decaying of teeth. As a result, you can prevent cavities and retain your beautiful smile.

Many studies have shown natural sugar replacement to be an apt solution for cavities.

2. Helps remineralize teeth

Xylitol sugar-free chewing gum may help you strengthen your teeth, enamel, and gums. In studies, xylitol activated the remineralization process and led to the hardening of teeth enamel.

So, xylitol may even help you protect your teeth structurally.

3. Helps reverse mild gum diseases

Too much plaque on our teeth can lead to inflammation and invite various gum diseases. Xylitol kills the bacteria responsible for plaque while leaving the healthy bacteria intact.

As a result, you don’t develop serious plaque and can reverse diseases like gingivitis. Additionally, xylitol can also prevent dental caries and keep your teeth healthy.

4. Promotes saliva flow

Xylitol chewing gums promote salivation like any other sweetener. More saliva means you can forget your dry mouth and even look forward to better oral health. The process also helps in the mineralization of your teeth and gums to make them strong.

5. Fresh breath

Xylitol chewing gum can combat bad breath by eliminating dry mouth. It can keep your mouth moist and reduce the amount of acid produced in the mouth. Therefore, you can get rid of the causes that lead to bad breath.

In addition, xylitol starves harmful oral bacteria to death. As a result, they are also not able to stench your breath.

6. No spike in blood sugar

Chewing gums with sugar all day can be severe for diabetic patients. You can also invite unwanted guests like obesity by having too much sugar.

Xylitol, however, is free of such ill consequences. It has a very low glycemic index (GI) or the ability to increase blood sugar.

Regular sugar has a GI of 60 – 70, while xylitol scores only 7 on the GI scale. Additionally, your insulin levels also stay normal.

7. Reduces ear infections

Xylitol may be quite effective in treating ear infections, especially in children. Scientists gave children xylitol chewing gum daily and saw ear infections drop by 40%.

Xylitol kills bacteria responsible for ear infections also by starving. Additionally, it also prevents yeast from sticking to ear surfaces and reduces infection.


Final thoughts

Xylitol is safe, and so are chewing gums made from it. You can chew your gum without worries as long as you don’t take too many.

In addition, xylitol can improve dental health and even be suitable for people with diabetes. So, do a Google search if you are wondering what chewing gum has xylitol.

We are here at New Leaf to ensure you always have a splendid smile with our dentistry services. You can always contact us for appointments or any queries.

Eddie Kuo, DDS

Eddie Kuo, DDS

Owner @ New Leaf Rohnert Park

Professional Degrees

University of California at Davis – BS in Biological Sciences with emphasis in Neurology, Physiology, Behaviors

University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, Doctorate of Dental Surgery

State University of New York at Buffalo – General Practice Residency at Erie County Medical Center

Front Office Staff On Phone Taking Appointment

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