Fluoride Action Network

More Interest in Xylitol

Source: International Fluoride Information Network | May 2nd, 2002

Dear All,

June and Phillip Allen, have sent us an excerpt from an April issue of the Journal Of the American Dental Association (JADA) in which the benefits of xylitol in fighting tooth decay are discussed. Is it too much to hope that JADA has seen the writing on the wall for fluoridated toothpaste?

In their message the Allens write that:

“The National Oral Health Call to Action has resulted in communication among concerned scholars with 5 hearings nationwide…

It has been heartening to find a seeming search for additional solutions to the nation’s oral health problems.

Interest appears to be growing in adding xylitol to the list of potential solutions–with the following statements appearing in an April 2002 Journal of the American Dental Association article: ‘How Xylitol-containing Products Affect Cariogenic Bacteria’:

‘Xylitol…is an effective preventive agent against dental caries…[C]onsumption of xylitol-containing chewing gum has been demonstrated to reduce caries in Finnish teenagers by 30 to 60 percent. Studies conducted in Canada, Thailand, French Polynesia and Belize have shown similar results…’

‘…another Finnish study…reported that mothers who chewed xylitol-containing gum two to three times per day beginning three months after giving birth…were less likely to transmit mutans streptococci to their offspring, and the children were less likely to have caries. Nevertheless, xylitol-containing products are not widely used in the United States, although they have the potential to help control dental caries in high risk patients.’

The Allens contrast this hopeful development with the more fossilized approach of water fluoridation which got a plug on page 2071 of the April 24 Journal of the American Medical Association. In an article entitled “Populations Receiving Optimally Fluoridated Drinking Water–United States 2000”, the CDC concludes:

“‘To reach the goal of 75% of the public water drinking population supplied with optimally fluoridated water, policymakers and public health officials at the federal, state, and local levels need to devise new promotion and funding approaches to gain support for this prevention measure.'”

For those wishing to receive more information on the latest scientific research on xylitol please contact the Allens at:

Phillip M. Allen, M.D., Ph.D.
June Allen, M.Ed.
Enviro-Health Concerns
(pro bono publico)
1826 Farmstead Street
Wichita, KS 67208

Paul Connett.

More info on Xylitol – IFIN #514, March 26, 2002:

By Phillip & June Allen

Too many communities have been stressed by the fluoridation controversy — seemingly unaware of the benign benefits of xylitol, a natural carbohydrate which has protected the teeth of Scandinavian children for years.

The letter which follows is an informal introduction to xylitol’s merits.

For a more formal and scholarly presentation of xylitol’s protective benefits for teeth, please see a recent review of the evidence by Dr. Catherine Hayes of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, reported in the JOURNAL OF DENTAL EDUCATION , Ocober 2001, page 1106.



Is this possible?

A natural sugar that protects against cavities rather than causing them?

That’s right.

It’s called XYLITOL and comes from the birch tree. Scandinavian children have been using 100% XYLITOL mints and gum for years to decrease tooth decay. XYLITOL inhibits Streptococcus mutans, a major cause of cavities.

What else does it do?

–remineralizes tooth enamel
–neutralizes plaque acids
–discourages gum disease
–helps prevent ear infections

Ear infections? Yes, because XYLITOL also inhibits Streptococcus pneumoniae, as reported in INFECTIOUS DISEASES IN CHILDREN, PEDIATRICS, and other medical journals exploring antibiotic alternatives.

A dentist at New York University has invented a pacifier impregnated with XYLITOL to work against both tooth decay and otitis media.

A physician in Texas has developed a XYLITOL nose spray (Xlear) to work against respiratory as well as ear infections.

If children chew 100% XYLITOL gum regularly when their permanent teeth are coming in, they improve their chances of having “well-mineralized teeth…impervious to decay” according to John Peldyak, DMD, a leading XYLITOL scholar.

“Why didn’t I know about this?” asked a legislator recently.

To learn more now, check MEDLINE , and click on http://www.xylitolworks.com/references.htm for professional journal citations. A significant new study on “xylitol’s protective benefits” comes from Dr. Catherine Hayes at Harvard’s School of Dental Medicine, and can be found in the October 2001 JOURNAL OF DENTAL EDUCATION, page 1106.

Wichita has two elementary school demonstration classes (see article below) who are enthusiastic about their XYLITOL HEALTH PROJECT. They hope many more children in the country will join them soon.


Wichita Eagle

November 11, 2000

Sweet treats: Stanley students get doses of prevention

The students are part of a study on the effects of a birch tree bark that helps prevent tooth decay and ear infections.

By Nicole Hughes
The Wichita Eagle

Gum and candy aren’t allowed inside the carpeted classrooms at Stanley Elementary School.

But every morning and afternoon, third-graders in Dorothy Gray’s class line up and stick out tiny cupped hands for their daily dose of gum and mints.

These aren’t just any gum and mints. They’re made from 100 percent xylitol — a natural sugar from the birch tree that independent medical studies have shown hinders tooth decay and even reduces the chance of ear infections.

“They’re ecstatic,” Gray said of her students. “They’re extremely proud that they’re probably the only class in the United States using this.”

And the kids say they love it.

“It’s good for your teeth, and it tastes really good,” said 9-year-old Cody McKee. “The mints taste like peppermint, and the gum tastes like mixed-up fruit.”

The class began using the gum and mints at the beginning of November as part of the Xylitol Health Project to raise awareness about the merits of xylitol. They’ll continue through the end of the school year. Xylitol was discovered in Finland during World War II when sugar was scarce, and it’s been researched there ever since. Its benefits are becoming more widely known thanks to articles in medical journals and distribution in health food stores.

Gray developed the project with the help of June Allen, the wife of retired Wichita pathologist Phillip Allen. The couple — who are both interested in children’s health issues — have a nonprofit partnership called Enviro-Health Concerns and have been researching and communicating with xylitol scholars as part of a study. The Allens agreed to pay for the gum and mints — which cost about a dime a day per child.

Gray sent letters home to parents about the project, and none of them responded with objections. Stanley’s principal, Anita Allard, approved the project easily because her dentist recently recommended using xylitol.

When the second semester of school begins, a first-grade class at Stanley will begin using xylitol gum and mints, too.

Gray hopes teachers throughout the district give xylitol a try in their classrooms. And the Allens hope other funding sources will be found so teachers don’t have to pay for it out of their pockets, like they often do when they want to try something new in the classroom.

Each morning at 9 a.m., the students take a swig of water and “swish and swallow” to get food particles out of their teeth. Then they suck on the mint for as long as they can — the record is 90 minutes, Gray said.

After lunch, the students “swish and swallow” again and then chew a piece of xylitol gum for an hour. They have to spit it out before going to another classroom.

They keep a daily record of their use and even recite songs they’ve memorized about xylitol’s benefits.

“I really like to chew the gum because we’re the only class to do it so far,” said Tia Brown, 8.