Dental Visit: Good or Bad News?

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I have written to you several times, and introduced my friends and family to your  program. You have been so kind and helpful. I fully trust you and your system. So I’m feeling awful that I’m writing with some not-so-great news.

I have followed your program to the T since February: at least 6.5 grams of xylitol per day in at least five doses after snacks and meals; I use the rinses and toothpaste recommended in the right order 12 hours apart every day, I also bought a Violight sanitizer which I use every day for my brush. And I went one step further — I also decided to change dentists, and found a new one on the link you provide to the WCMID. The dentist I chose is a Fellow at the WCMID, a teacher at the UCSF medical school, and very qualified. I had my first appointment with him yesterday.

He said that although my brushing looked good, and my X-rays were fine, my gums were infected, and was shocked that I have not been flossing the past few months. He told me I needed a “deep cleaning” of my gums to remedy the problem, and also suggested I get an Invisalign. The hygienist there told me that minimally-invasive dentistry means taking as much pro-active care as possible so problems do not arise in future, which includes regular cleanings. She told me that she recommends flossing after each meal and snack!

Now I am quite confused and don’t know what to do. Perhaps the gum infection came before I was on your program?

What have I been doing wrong?

Thank you again,


Hi S,

Thanks for your update – I think this story of your visit is very interesting. The really positive thing is that that your “brushing” looked good and your X rays were fine.

If you had told the dentist that you were flossing – my guess is that they would have said you were doing a great job!! I recommend that people never mention they are NOT flossing – it makes dental folks crazy – and then they have an immediate and negative attitude!

The System:
It appears to be 3 months since you started using xylitol and rinses regularly – correct?
There is a time line for your mouth – and how things progress depends on how bad things were at the time when you began. I assume in the past you may have had bleeding gums and that these periodontal problems may have been there ( possibly worse) before you began using my system.

Time Line on my System:
The first month on my program is all about cleaning bacteria from teeth (this takes about 5 weeks).
(They noticed your clean teeth = “brushing is good”)

Now – before any reversal of periodontal problems – you have to “clean” your saliva.
( By the way, flossing cannot clean saliva – Ha! Clean saliva can be “measured” with an Oral DNA test)

To clean your saliva takes about 6 months from the start date.
Cleaning your mouth is a gradual – somewhat slow process – that cannot be hurried. ( February to July). After July you should notice dramatic changes and improvements – you are not quite there yet – but soon!

Scroll to the bottom of this page to see the time line:

or go to this link:

Toothbrush cleaning:
I have changed my position about UV toothbrush sanitizes.
I have recently noticed that the UV toothbrush sanitizer may not be as effective at cleaning your brush as Listerine. Swish your brush in Listerine and allow to dry in sunlight.

I suggest you make this change – at least if you are at home – and use the UV sanitizer only if traveling etc.  (I have some suspicions that this UV sanitizer can ITSELF get infected).

My advice: Ask a Question to your dentist:
You can ask your new dentist if he could “measure/test” your mouth bacteria.
There is a test called an Oral DNA test and it would give him a reading of bacteria in your saliva.

This test would tell your dentist exactly if you have periodontal bacteria in your mouth or not.
I would wait to have this test until the summer – until your mouth is truly “clean”
I think you should ask for this test before any lengthy or expensive treatment – this would be like a “second opinion”.

There is no harm in letting your dentist give your gums a cleaning. You should only need this cleaning one time – to get rid of anything that was there before you started on this system.
Maybe do this – and then ask for the Oral DNA test before undertaking more treatments.

I think you should change the way you clean your toothbrush – but don’t stop using the system!!!
I think that this report after only 3 months is incredibly positive. This dentist does not understand what the situation was before you started – and does not understand that you are in the middle of a recovery!!

If you want to floss – then go ahead – it doesn’t matter – just be gentle! If you want to floss – use floss first – before using any of the rinses.

I think that you are in a great place!! I think that from now on you will see your oral health improve beyond all imagining.

Three months is a very short time to undo what may have been occurring since you were a teenager.
I do not remember your original story or why you found this system – but I think it will be very sad if you give up now!

Best Wishes,

Dr. Ellie Phillips DDS

Solutions for Oral Health

Categories: Uncategorized


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