Dear Dr. Ellie,
My partner and I have been following your complete dental care routine since January 2009 and use the program twice a day plus use Zellies after meals. I am having good results and, at my routine dental visits, all is in good health.
My partner, on the other hand, has developed what looks like plaque/ tartar on the gumline of his lower front teeth. Because of a limited income and no dental insurance, he does not receive routine cleanings. Is there anything different he should be doing to help preserve these teeth? At present, it looks like decay is imminent. Would a visit to the Eastman Dental Clinic be in line or do you have any other recommendations?
It sounds as if the “plaque” you are seeing on the gum line is staining from dead plaque.
If it is real plaque build up then your friend is not getting enough xylitol to prevent this build up.
To inexpensively increase the amount of xylitol consumed each day, I suggest using granular xylitol ( purchase from a natural food store- about $7 per pound = 112 teaspoons!) Dissolve one teaspoon of granular xylitol into a bottle of water each morning. Sip this “xylitol water” during the day and especially after meals. This will inexpensively add another 4 grams a day to the amount of xylitol you are consuming. You need at least 6.5 grams of xylitol each day to kill off plaque bacteria and stop this depositing around teeth.
If the stain sounds like dead plaque then your friend needs just one good cleaning and to keep on the system! Eastman would be fine for for a cleaning – or MCC (where they use students and I think it is free)
Do not be alarmed – there is no possible way for his condition to have deteriorated – he may just be seeing the initial changes that will lead him to a lifetime of improved oral health. Here is a link to a description of “dead plaque”: http://www.zellies.com/store.asp?pid=21972#dead_plaque
I remind you to be sure to clean your toothbrushes very often – daily if possible. Listerine is the best for this (swish your brush around in some Listerine and rinse the brush under running water – dry completely) or you could run them through the dishwasher! Here are some other people who have had questions about this stain:
26 Corporate Woods
Rochester, NY 14623