As research on erythritol continues to advance, it is evident that erythritol plays a role as a protective compound in and on our bodies. Such is the case with our teeth and gums. Let’s take a look at the oral health functions of erythritol.
Erythritol Protects and Cleans your Mouth
As mentioned before, it is comforting to know that erythritol is a protective compound that the body produces when under stress. In terms of protecting our oral health, there are three basic ways that Zsweet® can help.
Erythritol acts in the following ways:
- Decreases the incidence of cavities.
- Helps reduce plaque levels.
- Improves the health of the mouth’s microbiome.
For starters, it was proven in the early 1990s that erythritol does not cause or promote cavities. Unlike sugar (sucrose), erythritol does not feed bad bacteria or produce acids that harm teeth and gums. Several studies show reduction of cavities by using erythritol candies or toothpaste. Simply swirling a packet of Zsweet® in your mouth after brushing or even without brushing can help. Swishing a packet or two of Zsweet® around in your mouth is a good oral health practice when traveling or after meals while away from home.
Another key mechanism is erythritol’s ability to lower plaque levels. In several studies, the amount and type of plaque changes after exposure to erythritol. It seems that erythritol makes it easier to clean plaque from teeth and gums. In some cases, plaque even starts to fall off by itself! The mechanism is not fully described, however, we know that erythritol makes it harder for plaque to attach to the surfaces in our mouths.
Lastly, since everyone is talking about the microbiome - the ecology of our microorganisms in the gut, on the skin, and in our mouths - it makes sense to look at how erythritol impacts the ‘bugs’ that we want around and those we don't. Many people may not know that these organisms make coatings called biofilms that overlay the exposed tissues like the gut, gums, or other linings of the body. The types of organisms present and ratio of different types play a role in how healthy the mouth is. Erythritol acts like a gardener who comes in and selectively weeds out certain bad organisms (bacteria and yeast) and allows good or neutral organism to remain. The end result is a less likely scenario for gum disease (periodontitis) and cavities (caries). While this is good for long term health (studies link good oral care to less heart disease, fewer strokes and less cases of alzheimers) it can also seriously improve our breath and leave a fresh and cooling sensation after using Zsweet® either as a sweetener or as a mouthwash.
- Erythritol functional roles in Oral and Systemic Health
Advances in Dental Research, (2018) Vol. 29(1) 104–109