Pineapple – A Fascinating Fruit – and good for your teeth!

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I’m really confused and hope that maybe you can shed some light on why I’m experiencing what I am experiencing.

I began your program 100% versus the 95-98% I was doing. And even with that, I was experiencing tooth sensitivity on extreme levels.

One night, I decided (by virtue of my loving girlfriend) to eat the cut up pineapple she prepared for me.

Hesitantly, because of the acidic nature, I ate it since I had my xylitol nearby. When I ate it, my teeth/gum pain went away completely. I discussed it with her trying to figure out how can something so acidic do this? We couldn’t explain it. Of course, I ate the xylitol and went on with my life.

The past few days I’ve been out of blue crest and in the middle of a convention in town so didn’t have time to run to the store. So, they had, in the regular crest box, a free “white expressions” toothpaste, so I had no choice and used a pea size and was very gentle on the teeth to avoid hurting anything.

Anyway, over the past two days, my sensitivity is almost gone completely (almost). What is going on? How can this be?

So, here is the questions we’re trying to figure out:

1.Why, when I had something so acidic, my sensitivity went away?
2. Why did the sensitivity go away on a more abrasive toothpaste?

Anyway, I want to be reality based with your system and communicate what I’m experiencing. I have so many people on it, it’s crazy because I literally spread the word about you, write the system on napkins in restaurants, etc. I really would love to figure out what might be happening.


Dear JB,

Thank you SO much for this question!

I think you should get some pH testing paper and start to test your mouth pH at different times during the day and after various foods! This is fun, easy and interesting!

(Understand that acidity around pH 6 is enough to dissolve root surfaces of your teeth and below 5.5 will dissolve the outer enamel of teeth). Teeth remineralize and repair only when the mouth pH is around 7.6 or higher.

Try this! Get some more pineapple and do your own mouth pH test. (Pineapple is such a fascinating fruit!)

You would imagine from its taste that your mouth would turn immediately acidic on eating pineapple. On the contrary! (I have done this test to convince myself. I ate pineapple and found that my mouth was completely alkaline at a pH of 7.4.)

The same thing happens with fresh apples even granny smith ones they make the mouth alkaline. (BEWARE the fruit juice is not the same as the fresh fruit : apple juice will make your mouth very acidic around pH 2.0 ).

The reason that I was interested to test pineapple was because I used to work in a dental office that recommended patients eat pineapple before and after their wisdom teeth were extracted. This was in the 1970s in Switzerland and all our patients were instructed to eat pineapple before surgery.

Only recently have the rest of the world discovered that pineapple contains vitamin K, C and other substances that promote healing.

I checked with litmus to see if pineapple was going to produce an acidic or alkaline reaction in the mouth. It was a little surprising but not really under the circumstances, to find that pineapple generates a healing alkaline response in the mouth.
Quite amazing!

As for your new toothpaste make sure it does not contain stannous fluoride (very different from sodium fluoride). Stannous fluoride works like spackle – and will block up holes in your teeth. This may take away sensitivity for the moment but it will stop natural healing and remineralization and prevent you building natural tooth back. Just a FYI!! Sensodyne works in the same way.

Good luck and it sounds as if a little pH testing will help you figure out some of your questions.
Ellie Phillips, DDS

Categories: Remineralization, Sensitivity

Tags: , , , ,

  • Jacquelin says:

    Since pineapple is alkaline in the mouth, why does it cause sensitivity of the teeth when some persons eat it?

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    I do not know the answer to this question.I would need to know more about the condition of the teeth in this mouth – are there cavities unfilled, or leaking fillings. I could only think that if the teeth were generally sensitive to temperature etc. this may reflect a more general problem.I would need to learn more about the person, their teeth and how this fruit bothers them. I would advise anyone with such sensitive teeth to start protecting their teeth after every meal, snack or drink with xylitol ( Zellies mints and gum) and rinse with ACT as soon as possible – to combat this sensitivity. I would tell this person to avoid all whitening products ASAP and use only Crest Original toothpaste. Hope this helps!Ellie

  • Julie says:

    Dr. Ellie,

    I found this blog while trying to find fruits I can safely feed my preschooler with cavities. I have seen that you recommend no fruit for snacks, but I would like to be able to give her a “treat” of a healthy popsicles she loves on a hot day. Currently we do a “green monster” popsicle with spinach, milk, and banana. Is this OK for her teeth? Would adding pineapple or other fruits make it better or at least OK? Or is the whole idea of a slow exposure to fruit a bad idea.

    Also, I noticed that the Zellies Bears and her xylitol lollipops have citric acid in them. Is this harmful, or does the xylitol cancel the affect?

    Thank you!

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