Mouth Trap

Mouth Rinse With 5-Carbon Sugar Kills The Smell

Mouth Trap. Healthy Living Magazine

Mouth Trap. Healthy Living Magazine

Most of the sugars that strike us as tasty like fructose or sucrose contain six carbon atoms.

Xylitol, a lesser known sweetener, happens to differ from the other sugars in one important way: it has five and, for some fortunate reason, the bacterium species that lives in our mouth and causes caries, Streptococcus mutans, can’t digest this sugar.

They eat it, sure, but end up dying and populations diminish, taking the smell with them.

Xylitol was only put into use some 75 years ago during the second World War when the Finnish people, among so many Europeans, experienced sugar shortages and from necessity discovered that a sweetener called xylitol could be derived from birch trees. Over time, scientific studies have documented that xylitol has a very low glycemic index, meaning it can be substituted for table sugar by diabetics. Then dentists discovered that it prevented caries and confirmed their findings with clinical studies using xylitol as a chewing gum sweetener. More recently, scientists have looked at xylitol as a mouthwash ingredient—and these results have been just as promising.

Read: Gummy Bear Defense

Mouth smell matters

If your oral rinse contains only the usual chlorhexidine, adding xylitol chewing gum or rinse will lead to much more effective elimination of plaque-forming bacteria in the mouth, says a study. To compare the effect of chlorhexidine mouthwash alone and a combination of xylitol chewing gum and chlorhexidine mouthwash on dental plaque levels, researchers looked at 90 healthy dental students, male and female, ages 21 to 25 years.

The subjects were randomly divided into three groups. The chlorhexidine + xylitol group was “more effective than [the] chlorhexidine group alone. The results demonstrated a significant reduction of plaque indices in [the] chlorhexidine + xylitol group over a period of 15 and 30 days as compared to chlorhexidine.”

Read: Unfriend Bad Breath

An earlier study measured the effect of xylitol mouth rinse on salivary Streptococcus mutans counts. The 25 people who used xylitol mouth rinse for four weeks were compared with another group of the same number of participants who used saccharin mouth rinse. S. mutans was measured before and after intervention. “Significant reductions in the scores of S. mutans were found after the four week use of xylitol mouth rinse.”

what to buy

The studies show some mouthwashes have toxic effects. Alcohol-based mouthwashes can cause oral cancer among drinkers and smokers. That’s why a lot of products now eschew alcohol. Use of triclosan in some products is of concern since this chemical has toxic effects on hormone production in biological models. Fluoride, used in mouth rinses, also has toxic effects on the bones and can cause dental mottling. Chlorhexidine appears to be relatively safe and when combined with xylitol an even more effective rinse.

Read: Fluoride Toothpaste- Good Or Bad?

ReferencesElSalhy M, Sayed Zahid I, Honkala E. Effects of xylitol mouth rinse on Streptococcus mutans. J Dent. 2012 Dec;40(12):1151-1154. doi: 10.1016/j. jdent.2012.08.014. E-pub 2012 Sept 5. Jain A, Bhaskar DJ, Gupta D, Agali C, Gupta V, Gupta RK, Yadav P, Lavate AB, Chaturvedi M. Comparative evaluation of honey, chlorhexidine gluconate (0.2%) and combination of xylitol and chlorhexidine mouthwash (0.2%) on the clinical level of dental plaque: a 30 days randomized control trial. Perspect Clin Res. 2015 Jan-Mar;6(1):53-57. doi: 10.4103/2229-3485.148819.
comments powered by Disqus