Mouth Bacteria & Kissing

Dear Dr. Ellie:

I have a question about mouth bacteria and getting reinfected. If I kiss someone, sharing saliva, or if I share food (and possibly saliva) with someone, will it take me six months of good care again to get rid of the bad bacteria, or will a few days of good care take care of it? And is the CWT program not very useful if one regularly kisses someone who is not on it?


Dear EW,

Your teeth are covered by bacteria either healthy ones or harmful ones. That is nature and we cannot eliminate bacteria completely hard as we try! What we can do is make sure we only have healthy ones and xylitol is the way to do this.

The healthy bacteria in your mouth do not harm teeth and actually form a barrier to protect your teeth from invasion by bad bacteria. If you have been eating xylitol regularly for five weeks the bacteria covering your teeth will be healthy, protective ones. Once your teeth have healthy bacteria they will fight off infection with bad bacteria.

Right now, if you were to be in contact with unhealthy, infected saliva they would not attach to your teeth. Your healthy bacteria are going to protect you. Your healthy population will defend you.

The problems come if you are on a course of antibiotics. Antibiotic medication would leave your mouth without any normal defense (since antibiotic medication would wipe out your healthy bacteria)

It is a similar concern after a dental cleaning. When your teeth have been denuded of all the bacteria with the pumice cleaning there is no film left on your teeth to defend them. Eating xylitol encourages healthy bacteria again. Be sure to keep a regimen of at least 7 grams a day for a week after a cleaning (you may want to be selective whom you kiss during this week!)

Xylitol is a simple way to make sure you repopulate your mouth with healthy bacteria.

When your teeth are left without protection from healthy bacteria they are vulnerable…….and you may pick up dental infection bacteria again. It would take five weeks to remove the infection.

I hope you will not be worried xylitol is amazing product and it is going to help you stay protected!

Ellie Phillips, DDS

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