Dr. Ellie, 

Thank you for your advice and suggestions. I’ll let you know how I get on.

I did wonder, though, whether the xylitol was knocking out the good bacteria as well as the bad – rather like antibiotics do. It just seems strange to me that I would get oral thrush when I had been using xylitol in the recommended amounts for six months. I would have thought that it would have protected me, especially as I am in good health and haven’t taken any antibiotics for years.

Best wishes,

Hi S,

Xylitol could not be the problem. Xylitol does the exact opposite.

I liken xylitol to “food” to help grow and develop healthy biofilm for your mouth.

If healthy biofilm has disappeared for some reason – it takes more than xylitol to “re-grow” it – but xylitol will help.

In addition to xylitol , you need plenty of saliva and a way to “supply” healthy bacteria.

Let me explain how it works – since it is similar to growing a new lawn!

Imagine trying to repair a patch of lawn – where grass has warn away or been destroyed for some reason.

To grow new grass you have two choices – 1) let it spread from the surrounding grassy areas or 2) grow new lawn from seed.

To get new grass to spread into a denuded area, you need strong-growing grass around the patch.

The surrounding grass must be healthy enough to spread fast and reclaim the missing area ( in the mouth this source of healthy bacteria is provided by a healthy digestive tract and immune system).

If the surrounding grass is not strong enough for this, you need to “seed” the patch with healthy seeds ( in the mouth this would be probiotics – to help anyone with a weak digestive or immune system).

You also need minerals and water to help the grass grow ( in the mouth the nutrients to grow healthy biofilm are in saliva and from your diet).

Xylitol is EXTRA nutrition for this “new lawn” and it helps grow healthy biofilm as it prevents any “weeds” you do not want.

There are many things that “knock out” healthy biofilm.

The obvious ones are antibiotics, a cleaning at the dentist – but also strong acids ( oxalic acid in spinach and rhubarb for example) can take away this healthy biofilm.

Baking soda and peroxide are “classics” and if anyone is using these, a one-time treatment may be OK – but unless healthy biofilm is re-established quickly, lack of protection can lead to serious gum recession and tooth loss.

For your current problems:

Try to increase frequency of xylitol, make sure you are not getting contaminated with molds, and promote healthy biofilm with good diet and probiotics.

Give yourself a couple of weeks – and if this does not clear up the problem – you should seek medical assistance and get blood work done to check further.

Best Wishes,


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  • Dr. Ellie says:

    I may like to add that it transpires this lady is NOT using my system – but has decided to use tea-tree oil.This is NOT my recommendation.Ellie

  • Anonymous says:

    i must point out that I developed thrush BEFORE I started using the tea tree oil mouth wash – a few drops of tea tree oil in a small bottle of water. I used it to try to clear up the thrush. This was the recommendation of a study on treating oral thrush.

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