Bits and Bobs

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Birthday Coming Up

Dental Revelations is approaching its 1 year mark in the blogging world. What a journey it has been! I never thought that blogging would bring so much work on top of your day job. But it’s been fun to say the least.

There are exciting times ahead as I have opened my blog for guest posting. So keep an eye on this space especially if you need a change from me preaching and being all righteous all the time…

About the Competition

The competition I released in December didn’t go quite as planned. My aim was to get more audience to my posts via Dental Revelations Blog’s Facebook page. People were supposed to like my Facebook page to enter the competition, but it did not happen (imagine sad face). This marketing stuff for the blog is tough!

There are so many posts with important and always current subjects, which I would like people to read. To mention couple of them:

Alcohol – the Feared Subject

Should You Use a Mouthwash

Cold Sore Is Herpes – Cancel Your Dental Appointment Because Your Dentist Won’t!

Have You Dropped Your Dentures in the Toilet (he-he, not so important post but I had to link something less serious as well)

So I am stuck with brand new Jordan Clean Fresh toothbrush (which is supposed to be very good one and the battery life is phenomenal). Don’t really feel like using it myself as I have my Philips Sonicare and the brand new Oral-b Genius 9000. I think they are enough for me for now…

Guess I’ll run another competition on Facebook.

Criticism Welcomed

From the very start of this blog I have said in the About page that

Nothing comes for free and I bet I will get hate mail… bring it on! The more we discuss, the more change will happen.

I have been waiting for critical commenting and it took a long time for the first one to come. It came to the post Can You Trust the Recommendations given to You by a Dental Professional. This post if any of my posts was the one I knew would attract criticism.

The criticism was given by an anonymous reader and I did have an option to not publish it but I decided to play by the rules I set in the beginning. We need to discuss for dentistry to change. What better way to discuss than debating?

I have noticed that negative commenting is rare in the world of blogging. The advisory posts for beginner bloggers are full of advices to give nice comments to other blogs (to receive the same back). What if you don’t find anything nice to say about somebody’s blog post? What if you think their content is full of factual errors or personal prejudices? Are you allowed to say it in the comment box? And even if you are, will it be published?

I can only speak for my own blog that I will carry on encouraging to comment my post even if it is criticism.

Time for Another Revelation about Me?

Well I think you have deserved it if you have read this far.

I am living the busiest time in my life currently. I am busy at work and I continue being busy at home. My husband travels a lot for work which slightly complicates things at home. But that’s how the work life is nowadays with many professions. It is global. Like this blog is.

But what makes me super busy now is that my book (if you have followed my blog since the beginning, you know I have written a book) is about to be published! It is in a stage of finalising the covers. It is all exiting and scary at the same time. What if it doesn’t sell? What if people hate it? Well, there is always a chance for that. But that chance I must take so that years of hard work won’t go down in the drain. Plus it is something I never dreamt I would achieve.

So I am smiling here my dear readers. Despite being schizophrenically busy all the time.

Ok, that’s all for now. Let me wish you once more Happy New Year! I hope it will bring happiness and prosperity to all of us.

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Is Xylitol Good for You?

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Xylitol will help you to improve oral health

What Is Xylitol?

Well I was going to write about xylitol but when collecting facts I run into an article that comprehensively and distinctly gives you the relevant information on xylitol. Why produce something somebody else has done so well? So ladies and gentlemen please read through this article:

Xylitol: Everything You Need to Know (Literally) by Kris Gunnars, BSc at www.authoritynutrition.com

What I will add from an experience to this great article is that always choose a product that is sweetened by xylitol only. This will minimise the possibility of having stomach problems. It is not necessarily the xylitol that is culprit for the enhanced bowel movements but the other sweeteners like maltitol syrup. Trust me, I know from my personal experience. All I need to have is 3 or more pastilles sweetened with both xylitol and maltitol syrup and rest of my family will suffer from consequences – if you know what I mean…

dental-revelations-blog
Use chewing gum or pastilles sweetened 100% with xylitol

Here are couple of sites that sell products (chewing gum, pastilles) sweetened 100% by xylitol:

Peppersmith

Sweetlife – Spry brand

Fazer

Word of Warning

Even though the xylitol is absolutely harmless to us human beings (both children and adults), it can be fatal to dogs. So do not leave any xylitol product in the reach of your dog.

Controversy

Like mouthwashes and sparkling water divide us dental professionals, so does the xylitol. Some don’t know enough about it and some dental professionals take guidance from studies that are low of quality.

In 2015 the Cochrane released a review about xylitol which concluded that the xylitol has not been proven to be effective in prevention of decay. Many of us dental professionals most likely only read the abstract of the review, am I right? Very few of us had enough time or attention span long enough to go through the full version of the review. I mean really go through it – all the 10 studies they had included in their review.

Well I am going to make it easier for you now. I have looked into the full review and have simplified it in the next paragraph.

Cochrane Review and It’s Flaws

There are hundreds of studies about xylitol and caries (decay). In PubMed alone has over 500 of these publications. But yet the Cochrane review has been put together by using only ten of them.

In five of these studies the daily dosage of xylitol was lower than what is known and proofed by several clinical studies to be effective – that is 5 g per day.

Three out of these five studies were studies over toothpastes containing fluoride and xylitol. The levels of xylitol in toothpaste are always lower than the recommended, effective daily dosage of xylitol.

Clinical studies have concluded that the daily dosage and the frequency of use are the key factors in the effectiveness of xylitol. The xylitol should be spread throughout the day into small doses – preferably to 3-4 doses per day. As the xylitol is not antimicrobial compound, it needs to be used this 5 g per day to be effective in reducing the level of bacteria in mouth and therefore caries.

Let me repeat – five of out of ten studies included in the Cochrane review did not use sufficient dosage of xylitol. One out of these five studies wasn’t even a study over xylitol but probiotics – the xylitol was merely used as an adhesive (in milligrams – far from the 5 gram recommended daily dosage).

One out of these five studies did not even state the dosage of xylitol used. So why did they choose them for the review? I will try to find the answer in the Conclusion paragraph.

Ok, enough of those five questionable studies. Lets have a look at some of the remaining studies.

One of them the reviewers themselves think it has a “high overall risk of bias”. Well, they said it themselves – why include it?

Another study was conducted on kids with good oral health – how would you see if the xylitol is effective if there is nothing to improve in oral health? The ones executing this kind of study have been silly in the first place but the Cochrane reviewers are even sillier to include it in the review. What was the point?

Two studies had excellent results in the effectiveness of xylitol (see the other study here). Both of these studies used high enough dosage of xylitol.

Conclusion

It remains to be seen what magnitude of damage on public health one badly executed review has had. There are signs already that it has done great deal of damage. I did just a quick browse through the blogs and the internet and found several articles that were already declaring that the xylitol is useless referring to this Cochrane review. Some even state xylitol is harmful to us.

One must question the motives behind the Cochrane review on xylitol.

Has there been an involvement of the huge sugar industry that feels easily threatened by any alternative (and healthier) option for sugar as a sweetener? It is perhaps one reason why it is difficult to find xylitol products from many countries, especially the further west you go from Europe the more difficult it becomes.

Or was the review put together too hastily and with personal prejudices?

There are several food safety authorities worldwide that have accepted xylitol as food additive. The Joint (WHO/FAO) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) allocated xylitol’s ADI (acceptable daily intake) already in 1983 to “not specified” which is the most favourable ADI possible. Also the European Food Safety Authority concluded in 2006:

sugarfree chewing gum sweetened with xylitol is sufficiently characterised in relation to the claimed effects

(See the link for the full article at the bottom of this post)

Why produce a review that undermines the effectiveness of the xylitol when clearly there is no harm using it? Quite contrary, it most likely is beneficial to dental health when used appropriately and can have a positive impact on children suffering from middle ear infections.

The Cochrane reviewers are only emphasising their own self-importance and pettiness by this trivial review which will be in the world wide web forever and ever, with their names on it. It is an achievement I do not envy at all.

The Cochrane Library: Riley P, Moore D, Ahmed F, Sharif MO, Worthington HV. Xylitol-containing products for preventing dental caries in children and adults.

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on xylitol