Xylitol Fights Cavities…but it will cost you at least $12-20/month to get enough xylitol to make a difference.  Dentists have known about the benefits of xylitol for years.  But the cost to benefit ratio has not made sense for most people (about a year ago, it cost around $30/month).  Plus, chewing gum 4-6 times every day could be a problem for people with TMJ issues.

In order to prevent decay, studies suggest you need to chew 1-2 grams, 4-6 times a day.  I don’t believe there are any over-the-counter gums you can buy in stores which have high enough xylitol levels.  I called Trident, and they said the amount of xylitol in their Trident and Stride gums is proprietary and they would not disclose the amount.  Online sources say Trident gum has 0.17 gm per stick.  That’s 6 sticks at a time to get enough xylitol!

Still, if you’re having ongoing decay issues depite reducing sugar between meals, xylitol gum could be very helpful, provided you’re willing to chew that often.  For further information on preventing tooth decay with xylitol gum, here’s a couple websites for you.  Xylitol.org does a good job of explaining what xylitol is and how to use it.  Xylitolpreventscavities.com lists some gums you can get online with enough xylitol to be effective.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Dr. Steve

Dr. Steven Lee graduated from the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1985. He was a dental examiner on the National Health and Nutrition Exam Survey (NHANES III). And he is the leader of the American River Study Club. Dr. Lee has been practicing general dentistry in Roseville CA for the last 18 years.