Ax Bad Breath

With 5-Carbon Chewing Gum

Ax Bad Breath. Healthy Living Magazine

Ax Bad Breath. Healthy Living Magazine

Researchers have learned that the smelly compounds that make for bad breath are actually waste products produced by bacteria, most of which—unlike streptococcus mutansthat live above the gum line on the enamel in dental plaque—reside below the gum line and in crevices on the tongue.

Gram-negative bacteria are producers of mercaptan gases that lead to bad breath. They include Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola and Prevotella intermedia.

Read: Xylitol- New Findings

A new study from Applied Environmental Microbiologyhas found that xylitol, a sugar substitute already known to reduce dental caries, kills off populations of these socially debilitating bacteria. Xylitol is listed as the first ingredient in some breath mints, chewing gum and is available for low-calorie baking. In the case of gram-negative pathogens, uptake of xylitol “and its stable integration within the bacterial cell wall may discontinue bacterial multiplication,” say scientists.

Read: New Sugar Protects Teeth

how it works

The mechanism of xylitol on Mutans streptococcus and gram-negative bacteria is not fully known, but habitual xylitol consumption at high enough doses reduces counts, apparently interfering with adhesion and formation of larger biofilm colonies. It happens that xylitol’s 5-carbon makeup (table sugar has 6-carbons) starves some of the bad species of bacteria whose populations sometimes increase when breath is at its most sulfuric. While we tend to think of bacteria and probiotic supplements to fix problems in the gut and assist in digestive health, weight loss, immunity and nutrient assimilation, as it turns out the belly isn’t the only home to these bacterial populations. The human mouth contains a bacterial system, say researchers—and they add that a special effect of chewing gum containing xylitol can singularly target the worst members of these populations that cause tooth decay and bad breath. Using five to seven grams of xylitol chewing gum daily seems to do the job.

Read: Mouth Breather

“Xylitol feels cool and refreshing,” says Dr John Peldyak of Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant. “Choose products with high xylitol concentration, especially those that encourage salivation by chewing or sucking. Chewing gum is considered an ideal delivery system to get xylitol in contact with teeth, and gum is by far the most popular use for xylitol. Research trials have demonstrated that other forms of xylitol, such as hard candies and mints, can be equally effective. Although many commercial products claim to feature xylitol, not all of these can be considered reliable. A good rule of thumb for oral care products is to follow the advice used by the military that always puts first things first—and in this case: ‘Look for xylitol first.’ That is, xylitol should be the first sweetener listed on the ingredients label.”

Read: Five Carbon Sugar Against Asthma & Allergy

ReferencesPalchaudhuri s, Rehse sJ, Hamasha K, syed T, Kurtovic e, stenger J. Raman spectroscopy of xylitol uptake and metabolism in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Appl environ Microbiol. 2011 Jan;77(1):131-137. doi: 10.1128/AeM.01458-10. e-pub 2010 Oct 29.söderling e, Hirvonen A, Karjalainen s, fontana M, catt D, seppä L. The effect of Xylitol on the composition of the Oral flora: A Pilot study eur J Dent. 2011 Jan; 5(1): 24–31.
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