Title: Xylitol the Cure for Caries Word Count: 1275 Summary: Some of our first memories are all about health, we are taught to keep our hands clean, brush our hair, take a bath, and brush our teeth. We are taught how vitally important it is to clean our teeth after every meal or at least twice a day, to floss daily, and to avoid candy or sweets. Keywords: xylitol, cavity, caries, dentist, dental cavities, oral cavities, bacteria, streptococcus mutants Article Body: Some of our first memories are all about health, we are taught to keep our hands clean, brush our hair, take a bath, and brush our teeth. We are taught how vitally important it is to clean our teeth after every meal or at least twice a day, to floss daily, and to avoid candy or sweets. You might have seen the demonstration of a tooth placed in a glass of Coca-Cola that drink full of acid and the common table sugar called sucrose. The tooth started to decay before you and you might have wondered why? Is it the acid, because it couldn’t be the sugar could it? Coca-Cola also contains other sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, corn syrup, and the like. Would you believe that these sugars are in fact the most cavity-promoting substances in a person’s diet? Of course how many of us actually brush between meals? How many of our children floss every day? Could it be that the allure of the chocolate bar and the cola are too much for any of us to resist? Most kids find them selves to be in this predicament and even perhaps you as an adult might feel its nagging craving. This might be the reason why cavities or caries as the medical industry calls them, still remain a common occurrence. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) survey (for survey go to http://www.nidr.nih.gov/news/consensus/final_cdc_statement.pdf) reported that 20% of children between the ages of 2 and 4 have had cavities. Furthermore, by age 17, nearly four out of five have had at least one cavity. So our percentage of people experiencing cavities is not getting better it is in fact getting worse! Jumping from 20% to 80% is a 300% increase in the number of young people who have or had a cavity. How about us adults how do we fare in this great struggle? The study goes to say that adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to dental cavities, and that 25% of the people ages 65 to 74 have lost all of their natural teeth. So why does sucrose hurt our teeth and is their an easier way to combat it? Did you know that tooth decay is a bacterial disease? Cavities are simply the symptom of what is going on inside your mouth. These caries or cavities are formed through a bacterial disease known as tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth called Streptococcus mutants actually change the molecular structure of sucrose, corn syrup, and many other sweeteners. Without this molecular change sucrose and the like would increase the probability of type 2 or “maturity-onset” of diabetes and other diseases, but instead we just get a bacterial tooth disease to make up for it. The things we do to our selves with out even knowing it. So this is the reason why we were taught to brush our teeth after every meal and floss every day to minimize the ability of these bacteria to damage our tooth enamel through that slow every minute, every second, of every day tooth decay. The act of brushing ones teeth actually removes the bacteria from the surface of the tooth or the enamel where it does its nasty work. Some of the mouth washes or antiseptics are designed to kill the Streptococcus mutant bacteria. Dentists do their best to protect our teeth’s enamel with dental sealants, and with fluoride. Fluoride has a number of serious drawbacks as a preventative measure, its only strength is that is has been shown to strengthen tooth enamel. However, just because it strengthens your teeth’s enamel doesn’t mean it actually slows down the rate at which that enamel will decay, and it surely does not rebuild the enamel you have already lost. This is why there is so much controversy about fluoride as a “preventative measure”. The primary source of energy for the Streptococcus mutants is carbohydrates, especially sucrose and high fructose corn syrup. So restricting the use of the carbohydrates such as sucrose will deprive the bacteria of its needed fuel slowing the rate at which your teeth decay. So why am I writing this message to you? Simply to introduce to you a safe effective way for preventing and perhaps even stopping tooth decay all together. This preventative tool can stop tooth decay and may even reverse cavities allowing your body to heal its self. This is not a sonic mechanical tooth brush nor is it a complete set of gold plated dentures. The tool I am referring to is an all natural sugar! It goes by the name of Xylitol. You might be thinking “I thought you just said that carbohydrates especially sucrose are the main fuel on which this bacteria lives off of. Now you want me to eat it?” Be patient with me and all will be told. Sugar, what do you think of when I say sugar? Well if you’re like most of us you are thinking about the common everyday table sugar called sucrose that has been bleached white and is lying in your pantry or in that beautiful tin canister sent to you for Christmas. Not all sugars are or were created equal. Like sucrose xylitol is a natural food product, derived from certain fruits, vegetables (harvested mainly from corn), barriers, nutshells, and even tree bark. Xylitol is as sweet as sucrose and has about the same mass which is why you can substitute it on a one to one ratio for sucrose in all your cooking. So here is my point xylitol has no predisposition to cause cavities unlike sucrose and high fructose corn syrup. Thus this point in and of it self can actually help you in your daily fight against cavities. The regular use of xylitol products such as, chewing gums, candies, lozenges, toothpastes, and others, can stop the progress of tooth decay and as I mentioned earlier may even allow your body to heal cavities that are already in progress. Yet another amazing exciting fact about Xylitol is that children who consume xylitol sweetened gums, candies, and toothpastes before they loss their “baby teeth”, so long as they keep regular care of their teeth as they grow, will have more protection against cavities then we ever did or ever will when they grow older. Yes, that’s right before their permanent teeth come in. Xylitol functions so efficiently because it obstructs the bacteria that cause tooth decay, by stopping their growth and preventing those nasty Streptococcus mutants attaching to the tooth’s enamel. So ideal for children because foods made with xylitol taste just as good as those sweetened with sucrose. Can you imagine encouraging your children to chew gum, or eat candy because you know it is good for them! So do I have any “scientific proof” that supports my claims and how strong is this so called proof? Thankfully the people who have done the studies main motivations were not of greed, but rather of health and life. This means a lot me, these studies couldn’t be stronger. Many companies do the minimum of what is required by law to make claims about their products; though this may be legal it is not always moral. Dental anti cavity research has been going on now over 25 ye ars. Dr. Catherine Hayes (for study go to http://www.nidr.nih.gov/news/consensus/catherine_hayes.pdf) of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine concluded that the favorable evidence for Xylitol was so strong that “it would be unethical” to deny people of its dental protecting effects.