HMN Mom with Concern: Yellow Tooth

Dear Dr. Ellie:

We are in a bit of a mess and it’s so unexpected. My 5 yr. old brushes w/Toms toothpaste w/xylitol & chews your gum daily. She uses Toms w/fluoride only on the weekends (just to have a bit of moderation). We are a very holistic & healthy family. We do hardly any sugar at all. Instead we sweeten with xylitol, agave or honey.

Her dentist (not a pediatric dentist) found a cavity on one of her bicuspids. He did a pulpotomy. Used zinc oxide/eugenol. Within 2 weeks her entire tooth (front/back) turned very yellow.

He looked at it and said he does not know why it turned yellow. Maybe the Eugenol (oil of clove). I asked his dental asst. to contact the company that makes the eugenol component & they said it couldn’t have been that because it is in a completely solid form when it bonds & doesn’t free itself.

We paid nearly $400 out of pocket for this dentist & are left with a yellow tooth (that is visible when she smiles) & he isn’t willing to research it any further or consult with colleagues, etc.
He just says he wouldn’t worry about it! What about if she gets another cavity, how do we know it won’t happen again?!


p.s. Is your book out?

Dear MM,

I would assume that this is a kind of blood/bruise reaction that you are seeing in the tooth. I expect that the yellow will change to blue and then it may or may not resolve away or darken.
I would keep this tooth under supervision but I do not think she will have problems from it.

My bigger concern is that if you have a cavity on one tooth it means that you have infection in your mouth. This infection is attacking other teeth. There is no such thing as a cavity on one spot only. Whatever made the cavity in this tooth is working on the other teeth to attack them next.

This is why it is so important to view dental disease as an infection. It is caused by bacteria, it is transferred between family members and grows on toothbrushes. The best news is that it is easy to rid the mouth of harmful, cavity-causing bacteria with xylitol but only if you consume a minimum amount.

Make sure that you consume at least 6.5-10 grams of xylitol each day. You can eat it in granular form, dissolve it in water and consume as a drink, or use Zellies gum and/or mints. It does not matter the form in which you use xylitol but you must get at least 6.5 grams a day around the teeth. It is best split up into four or five separate occasions and works the best at the end of every meal, or drink.

I would encourage you to consider brushing your daughter’s teeth with a drop of ACT bubblegum rinse on the brush or a small amount of Crest original toothpaste. She needs to strengthen her teeth. (I could talk with you at length to convince you about this kind of fluoride but trust me for now). Make sure you only use a brush that is spotlessly clean ( FYI, hot water or peroxide will not adequately clean toothbrushes you need Listerine or a UV

If you do these things you will eliminate plaque bacteria. The tooth cleaning with ACT or Crest will strengthen her teeth and make them less easily damaged. I want you to consider that this may be the only way to stop her from having another filling.

Please let me know if I can help more,


Categories: Xylitol

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