Dear Dr. Ellie:
I was looking over your site. I’m wondering if a cavity has become brown can it still be cured with your system, or is a filling required?
It takes about six months to remineralize a small/brownish cavity and have it heal. In the process the color may darken and eventually it should lighten up – do not worry too much while all this is going on!
The important thing is to start immediately with enough xylitol to control the disease bacteria – that means at least 6.5 grams of xylitol each day – every day – and best spaced out after meals. You could eat some Zellies mints or gum after meals for example (do some math to make sure you have enough xylitol each day).
To initiate healing, you must also use dilute sodium fluoride rinse. If we are talking about adult teeth – I would suggest the entire mouth rinse system that I recommend – it will speed up healing for you. Small children need just the fluoride rinse and xylitol. If children are not old enough to rinse safely and spit out – brush their teeth with a drop of bubblegum ACT on a soft toothbrush morning and night.
It is the combination of xylitol and fluoride that will heal your tooth.
I cannot tell you if your tooth will heal completely – because I cannot see how much structure has already gone away.
On the other hand, I think you can be optimistic. It is quite amazing how re-mineralization can reverse holes in teeth in about six months.
Anyone under the care of a dentist who has been told they have a cavity, should make it clear that they want to heal any cavities themselves. They should explain that they want to use xylitol and fluoride. A good dentist should encourage you to do this and perhaps check after a couple of months that healing is occurring.
One word of caution if you involve your dentist:
Many dentists think that the stronger fluoride is better, but for re-mineralization and repair of teeth, you are best using a dilute sodium fluoride ( 0.05%) as in ACT. Stronger fluoride solutions do not work as well for healing and do not work with the xylitol so effectively.
Hope this helps and I wish you the very best – please let me know the outcome!
Ellie Phillips DDS