Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is used as an artificial sweetener. It is also notably used to maintain teeth and gum health; Xylitol chewing gum can prevent tooth decay by inhibiting the growth of streptococci, which is the main cause of damage to tooth enamel. Xylitol also significantly reduces the production of acid that causes the growth of plaque on the gums surrounding the teeth and plays an important role in re-mineralization.
Xylitol protects against otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear) by preventing the growth of the streptococci pneumoniae bacteria.* It also prevents the pneumococci and flu bacteria from adhering to the cell walls of the nose and pharynx. A clinical trial conducted to prove the efficacy of Xylitol in treating otitis media showed there was no need to give antibiotics to those who were treated with Xylitol.
Chewing gum, syrup and lozenges made with Xylitol can help people who have this infection by helping remove the earwax that has accumulated in the ears. It also asserts its antibiotic properties by inhibiting the growth of bacteria in the Eustachian tube, a part of the ear that connects the nose and the ear. This is attributed to Xylitol's ability to form into different structures that prevent bacteria from growing and thriving in the ears.
Xylitol has a lower caloric content than table sugar, is easily absorbed in the body and does not cause blood sugar level to rise and agitate hyperglycemia.* As a sugar substitute, Xylitol may also contribute to weight loss.
Serving Size & Timing
To prevent tooth decay, dentists recommend a dose of 6-10 grams per day of Xylitol. It should be used on a regular basis to experience its maximum effect in protecting against tooth problems.
To protect against ear infection in children, the recommended dose for chewing gum, syrup or lozenges is 8.4 to 10 grams, given five times a day after meals.
For an oral solution, 5 grams three times daily is recommended.