Dear Dr. Ellie:
What is the difference between Orbit gum and yours?
– DH in Rochester, NY
Zellies gum and mints are sweetened with only 100 percent xylitol no artificial sweeteners added. Xylitol is made by the human body and so it appears to be well tolerated even up to about 100 grams a day. Harmful mouth bacteria ( the ones that cause dental disease) are unable to process xylitol no matter how long you have eaten it for and they die out.
Orbit and Trident gum are around 98 percent sorbitol and only 2 percent xylitol. (Xylitol is expensive and sorbitol is an inexpensive sugarless sweetener.) Sorbitol is poorly tolerated and many people have gastric cramping, gas and bloating after eating sorbitol.
Worst of all harmful mouth bacteria learn how to process sorbitol after the third stick of gum They “learn” how to derive energy from it to grow and thicken. It appears that this may result in gingivitis, and symptoms of acid reflux.
Alternating high doses of sorbitol (with resultant growth of bacteria) and big quantities of regular sugar in the diet does not appear to have been studied. I would imagine very negative results. I worry that kids these days chew Orbit and then drink sweetened sodas. Teens today have an alarming increase in acid reflux and gingivitis.
Hope this answers your question,
Dental Health for Everyone!
26 Corporate Woods,
Rochester NY 14623