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Dental Hygiene/Xylitol candy after meals


Dear Doctor,

I have tendency to develop cavities and gum disease. Somehow it runs in the family. My dentist suggested I use Xylitol gum after every meal to keep the level of bacteria down and saliva flow high. It worked great for me for a few years and I have had only one small cavity since then. Unfortunately I have developed a TMJ pain on the left side of my jaw and am unable to chew gum at all. I was wondering if having homemade xylitol candy would be an option for me? Is it as effective as gum since it wont increase saliva flow as much? Please advice.

The main anti decay effect of xylitol is due to the stimulation of your saliva production, not germ killing bacteria.  Therefore any sugarless candy and gum will work about as well as chewing  xylitol gum.  Brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste is still your best tool to fight tooth decay.

Larry Burnett DDS

Dental Hygiene

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Larry Burnett DDS


I can answer questions about prevention, elimination of, and non surgical treatment of periodontal diseases and early tooth decay. I can't answer questions concerning dental insurance payments.


Taught hygienists in a major dental hygiene school for about 20 years. Taught hands on courses concerning these categories to Dentists and Hygienists throughout the US and Canada including repeat lectures at the Annual Scientific Sessions of A.D.A. and A.G.D over several years. Personal hands on delivery of preventive hygiene services to disadvantaged children through a mobile school based prevention program.

RDH Magazine, Parkell, Dental India and some places of which I'm not aware.

Medical College of Virginia ( VCU) School of Dentistry.

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