Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant materials. It is extracted from birch wood to make medicine or in recent years its been used as an alternative low-calorie sweetener to sugar.
Xylitol is widely used as a sugar substitute and in “sugar-free” chewing gums, mints, and other candies.
It is also widely used to prevent cavities and promote dental health. It is also used to prevent tooth plaque and ear infection (otitis media) and many other uses, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Dog owners should know that xylitol can be toxic to dogs, even when relatively small amounts of candies are eaten. If your dog eats a product containing xylitol, it is important to immediately take the dog to a veterinarian.
National Library of Medicine: Health Benefits of Xylitol
WebMD: Xylitol overview