Xylitol and Sinus Medication

Hi Ellie,

I was wondering how one’s oral health contributes to possible sinus problems… ie. sinus headaches, etc. And, can Xylitol help this. I don’t suffer from sinus problems myself, but was curious.


Hi A,

The mouth, nose, ears and throat connect with each other by tubes and passages in our head.

When you realize that plaque is a bacterial INFECTION – you see how the same sticky bacteria that for plaque can easily travel to form sticky stuff in ear tubes and sinuses.

Our ear tubes originate at the back of our throat area and travel up inside our head to the ears.

Xylitol has been said to reduce children’s middle ear infections by almost 50% and Evidence Based studies at U Michigan recently confirmed this original 1940s observation.

Xlear nasal spray has xylitol in saline and it was the first xylitol product for the Spry company. A doctor noticed that xylitol cleared nasal passages better than traditional medications, but working differently because the xylitol “washes” bacteria away – by making them slippery. This means at first there may be more “nose drip” but then it goes away as the problem goes away.

Medications for sinus and blocked nose work because they open up the passages – by shrinking the lining of the nose( basically by dehydration).

This way you dry up the nose quickly – which makes you feel better, but this medication will simultaneously dry up your mouth. Dry mouth is a huge risk factor that makes plaque grow thicker….so mouth-drying medications promote sticky plaque and this can contribute to nasal blockage and dental problems!

I suggest xylitol as an excellent therapy – but expect to wait a period of time as this is a slower process – just like oral plaque reduction.

It would be sensible to use both oral and nasal xylitol together – for obvious reasons. If someone decides to stick with traditional sinus medications they need to realize the problems of dry mouth – and how Zellies can help break the cycle!!!

Hope this explains!


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  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Dr. Ellie:My family has been using your mouth cleaning system with success for several years. The recent cancer diagnosis of Michael Douglas, who attributed his throat cancer to heavy drinking and smoking made me wonder about the long-term risks of using Listerine since it has a lot of alcohol and is in prolonged contact with the mouth. I googled this and found out that some scientific studies show that mouthwashes with alcohol increase the risk of cancer. What is your response to this? I think I would rather have gum disease and cavities than get cancer. More importantly, I've got my kids rinsing with Listerine too. Thanks. Carol

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    Hi Carol,Listerine was first introduced as a mouth rinse over 60 years ago and has been used by more people than any other mouthrinse in history!The risks of Listerine have been well studied on many occasions and the results constantly show it to be safe. I use Listerine twice daily and all my family and children use it. The studies even show it is safe for people with dry mouth. Of course I recommend rinsing Listerine off your teeth after the rinse.You should only have it in your mouth for 30 – 60 seconds max and rinse vigorously. Listerine is working as your "liquid floss" before the ACT step so you squish it in and out between your teeth – 30 secs will be adequate if you prefer a shorter rinse. Listerine is made from essential oils and the alcohol dissolves them and make this rinse work on plaque bacteria.The only study that cast doubt on Listerine came out of Australia a couple of years ago. Funny coincidence but the Australians are trying to produce a new rinse that uses a local herb that grows in Australia! Some people claim there may be an ulterior motive and explain that this Australian study was done on dry cells in direct contact with alcohol. In the mouth, there is a completely different situation and response, since the cells are alive and protected by saliva and salivary proteins. I would NEVER recommend whitening Listerine – (This whitening product does not carry an ADA shield of acceptance – BECAUSE it is a dangerous product and contains ingredients that are a cancer concern). I would NEVER recommend Whitening or Tartar control Listerine – neither one carry the ADA shield of acceptance.I would NEVER recommend any mouth rinse that contains peroxide -for the same reasons.I would NEVER recommend any rinse with baking soda since it appears to wipe out healthy as well as harmful bacteria( especially for women – who often end up with gum recession). Read page 3 of my guide to the rinses used in my system and you will see what I mean about the shield of acceptance:http://www.zelliescleanwhiteteeth.com/pdfs/Complete-Mouthcare-System-Guide.pdf I am totally comfortable with Listerine.I recommend the Original ( which I use) and the Cool Mint for those who do not like the Original. Hope this helps allay your concerns,Ellie Ellie Phillips DDSwww.ZelliesCleanWhiteTeeth.comSolutions for Oral Health!author, Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye

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