Cavity Next to Filling and Cleaning Bite Guard

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I am a twenty-seven year old female. I have been doing your Complete Mouthcare System for almost two weeks, and almost immediately I could feel that my teeth were cleaner. At my dental appointment, just 10 days in, the hygienist remarked that my teeth were “pretty clean” and only had to scrape away a little plaque behind my lower front teeth. Unfortunately, I had three cavities. One of these cavities was on the edge of a filling my dentist had put in only six months ago. I have two questions related to this particular cavity.

First, did my dentist somehow botch my filling? Second, could I safely put off having the filling repaired to see if the cavity would remineralize or should I go ahead and have him fix it? To clarify my concern, am I endangering my tooth by not having it filled immediately?I have had multiple fillings during the past few years, attributed to a habit of night clenching that has worn down my molars. I know your system is supposed to strengthen and even restore enamel but is there any benefit for the top of molars that have been worn down? I have been very discouraged by the state of my mouth (my tooth problems particularly), but your system has given me some hope. 

Finally, I know you recommend cleaning toothbrushes, night-guards, etc. with Listerine; however, my night guard directions specify to only clean with soap and water and not soak in alcohol. Do you think quickly rinsing with Listerine would be sufficient to kill bacteria? Also, do I need to rinse my bite-guard daily or could I get away with doing it less often?

Thank you so much for taking time for my questions. I appreciate all your efforts to promote proactive ways to save teeth.

Hi E,

It sounds to me that you have a lot of acidity in your mouth. This acidity may be from drinks, citrus, sports drinks, soda, acid reflux etc…and/or it may be that you have a dry mouth for some reason.

If you are grinding your teeth and wearing them away, they must be very soft. Do you drink soda (even diet) before you sleep at night? or during the night? Do you have a dry mouth/ allergies or asthma, medications that dry your mouth?

Tooth damage is always caused by acidity made worse by mouth dryness. It sounds as if there is a lot of acidity that is softening your teeth and especially at night. Perhaps you sleep with your mouth open at night.

With a dry mouth any tooth clenching will damage teeth (the tooth clenching is not the problem it is the acidity and dryness that is making your teeth vulnerable).

I would suggest you continue using my system of mouth rinses every 12 hours. During the day use Zellies mints and gum after every meal, drink or snack.

It is very important to go to sleep with the last thing being ACT that you just spit out.
Place your retainer, and then go to bed.

If you eat or drink after this do a quick rinse with ACT again or eat some Zellies mints to ensure you sleep with protected teeth.

Cleaning your mouth guard by brushing with some toothpaste will work fine.

I would love to keep up with your progress.

If you use this system every 12 hours and use Zellies after everything you eat or drink your problem will not get worse. You will see results and possibly avoid the need to have the filling replaced. Such repairs (around a filling) may take 4-6 months.

Good luck,

Ellie Phillips DDS
26 Corporate Woods
Rochester, NY 14623

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