13. June 2011 06:00
For as many advances that Dentistry has given us over the years, one constant still remains….almost everybody gets cavities. While fluoride in the public water supplies combined with professionally applied fluoride treatments have dramatically helped in this battle, decay is still a prevalent problem.
A new twist on prevention comes is the line of products called Xylishield from the Ultradent company. The active ingredient is something called xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and is found naturally in fruits and vegetables as well as being created by our bodies during metabolism.
This is believed to reduce the incidence of decay because oral bacteria are unable to ferment xylitol. This action stabilizes the pH of saliva. It is also possible that the rise in ph of the saliva could aid calcium and phosphate salts to help in potentially reversing the carious process in the tooth structure.
The Xylishield product line includes toothpaste, mouthrinse, mints and also gum.
There is always something new to offer. Time will tell if this is a viable tool in the fight against tooth decay. Ask your dentist about this new trend next time you are in for a check up.