Did you know dental caries are amongst the most frequent non-communicable diseases worldwide, with a total of 3,9 billion people suffering from oral diseases? On World Oral Health Day, the world pays a bit more attention to dental care and we want to show you how low-calorie sweeteners can help decreasing dental problems.
How can low-calorie sweeteners help?
Sugar is often regarded as one of the worst food options for your oral health. However, it is not the sugar itself that causes cavity, but the acids that are produced by mouth bacteria when getting in contact with sugar. So, acids, not sugar, are actually causing cavities.
Even though sugars are not causing oral health problems directly, they do contribute to the process of oral health deterioration.
Artificial sweeteners on the other hand, do not produce the same acids that sugar does when getting in contact with mouth bacteria. This means artificial sweeteners do not produce enamel-destroying acids. Artificial sweeteners, such as Xylitol, are safer when it comes to dental risks, than natural sugars.
There are scientific studies that support this claim. A research conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2011, shows that by consuming artificial sweeteners instead of sugars, tooth mineralisation is maintained, because artificial sweeteners lead to less tooth demineralisation than natural sugars.
Various clinical trials (also conducted by EFSA (2009, 2010) have investigated the effect of sugar-free chewing gum consumption on plaque acid neutralisation, the stimulation of saliva flow and tooth mineralisation. The outcomes showed consistent positive (beneficial) results of caries incidence by using of artificial sweeteners.
When it comes to dental care, adopt good oral hygiene habits. Next to brushing your teeth twice a day, eating healthy, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, it could pay off to decrease your sugar intake and use some artificial sweeteners instead.