Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Most Unlikely (But Scientifically-Proven) Weapon Against Tooth Decay: SUGAR!

A Most Unlikely (But Scientifically-Proven) Weapon Against Tooth Decay: SUGAR!

By Tomas Caomhanach

It's a most unlikely weapon in the battle against tooth decay: Tests have shown that a fruit-flavored sugary syrup - made from a natural sweetener called Xylitol - can protect teeth against corrosion.

Xylitol comes from the silver birch tree and is used in many products such as chewing-gum. Studies have shown it reduces levels of a harmful bacteria called streptococcus mutans.

Researchers at the University of Washington have studied the effects of the syrup on children in the Pacific Marshall Islands, which has one of the highest rates of tooth decay in the world, as a result of a sugary diet.

Presented at the International Association for Dental Research conference in Toronto, the results have shown that 76% of those given the syrup were free of tooth decay, compared with 48% of those who did not get it.

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