5 year old daughter with cavities

Hi Dr. Ellie,

Just wanted to give you an update on our daughter so far and also ask you a question about xylitol sourced from corn vs. hardwood.

I am seeing different claims among manufacturers of xylitol granules and products, some saying that their xylitol is superior because it is made from hardwood trees, while most are made from corn cobs in China, possibly genetically modified corn as the source, etc. As a consumer, should I be too concerned with this, or do the benefits of xylitol use, regardless of its original source and place of manufacture, outweigh issues of GMO sources, etc?

You should know that within just *a few days* of consuming xylitol granules (1+ tsp daily, at small intervals) and ACT rinse twice daily, our daughter exclaimed that the “sore” teeth weren’t sore anymore and she could actually brush them with her battery powered brush, which she had been afraid to do b/c of the discomfort from the deep decay. So I assume the xylitol and rinse have hardened things a little bit to make her teeth less sensitive, even the ones with deep decay. Would this be a safe assumption?

At her last appointment, 7/24, the dentist said that decay is always a little worse, usually, than the x-ray reveals. He will tackle the worst decay first. He gave assurance that he’d be able to take care of the worst tooth first, using local anesthetic plus nitrous oxide, though he said in rare cases, once he gets in, if it starts getting uncomfortable for her or the decay is a lot worse than the x-ray could show, he might have to resort to some other sedative to finish the procedure. Since the earliest we could get in was a month later, I thought, “well, that gives us four weeks to keep doing the ACT rinse and xylitol”, so my hope is that by doing so, we are arresting any further decay in the existing cavities and possibly improving the condition of the small cavities, and maybe “sealing over” something protective on the bad ones, so that the sensitivity goes away. Anything else / more we can do in the next two weeks or add to our routine?

She favors the chocolate mint gum you sent in the samples (THANK YOU!), so I’ve ordered more from you along with the chewy fruit and minty candies from your web site. I gave some to my dad’s wife, a hygienist, and she really liked them. Our daughter loves eating the granules by themselves with her finger, or dipping strawberries into the “sweet stuff”. We’re all using the xylitol now, and I have told a few of my friends about your blog and the gum and candies, which are a lot more convenient to have on hand in the car than a shaker of granules for the kids!

Thanks again,


Hi C&B

I thought I had replied but the message still remains in my Inbox. I apologize if I missed out on getting back to you.

I see your appointment is coming up I will be thinking of you. Let’s hope the dentist sees improvements. It may be worth asking if you could continue on this program for another month or so and try to avoid fillings.

On the “origins of xylitol” I believe that this discussion is more a marketing trick than reality.
I would check the source of any that I eat constantly and put trust in the labels For this reason Zellies gum is made in the Birchwood area of Scandinavia a company that has made xylitol gum this way for decades.

The granular xylitol sold in most stores: Emerald Forest, Xylosweet and Zellies granular packets are from mixed sources but any imported from corn based sources are guaranteed GMO free. If you stay with these brands you will have confidence that you have good xylitol.

Teeth heal in much the same way as a skin wound. There is deeper (underneath healing) followed by superficial (skin) healing. The first step is the reconstruction of the flesh under the wound. In the case of a tooth this is the deeper layers of the enamel, close to the dentin.
Xylitol seems to be the instigator of healing in these deeper layers taking away painful sensitivity very quickly.

Fluoride works by helping stimulate the healing of the outer shell layer of a tooth (in the case of a flesh would it would be like the outer skin ) The two work in harmony to remesh and heal any weak or deficient places in a tooth. Your daughter noticed a difference quickly and I am not surprised.

Sorry to have taken a while to reply it slipped through my net!
Best Wishes to you all,
Please keep in touch,
Ellie Phillips, DDS
Dental Health for Everyone!

Categories: Xylitol

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