Periodontal Disease

Hi Dr Ellie:

I’ve been on your program completely for about a year and a half and hit or miss for a bit longer. I was so encouraged when I quickly halted the progression of a dental cavity using it, but alas keep running into obstacles with periodontal issues and am getting very discouraged. I have always prided myself on the condition of my teeth – the main reason I found your web site in the first place because I wouldn’t accept a cavity and gum disease.

I began seeing the periodontist about 4 years ago for pockets up to a 9. I had surgery for the gum and bone and naively thought I would be done with him. My pockets are nicely under control using your system. But I had to have surgery for the gum recession last year. Not wanting any more surprises and anxious to stop having twice yearly visits to him as well as my dentist I asked for his prognosis. They will do actual measurements at the next visit, but he seems pretty sure I will require surgery for the receding gum on 1 area because the tissue is thin, but not on the other because it is thicker. In fact he guarantees I will need the surgery in 10 years since I find it so difficult to use the night guard made for me.

I wrote to you last year about a filling along the gum my dentist wanted fill although it wasn’t a cavity, which I found out is notch in the tooth from the recession.

I’ve been trying to take extra xylitol to take care of it and I won’t know if it’s improved until I see my dentist. Although now that I know what the cause is, I don’t think I will have anything done to it.

I know it is extremely difficult if not impossible to remedy receding gums, but I needed to vent to someone who would appreciate my concern with fixing things. I do feel I have made an improvement in the recession on one side, but of course they told me that wasn’t possible. I know you can’t diagnose but unfortunately you are the closest we can get to a sensible 2nd opinion. My specific questions are: should I just stop making a big deal of the gum surgery (I had a miraculous healing last year taking your advice for pineapple) and have it done now, an option he gave me?; should I still have the non cavity notch filled?; do you have an opinion on the efficacy of the night guard?;

I have more questions, but will save them for next time.

Thanks again,


Hi JC,

Take your time:

It always gets difficult for me to “advise” when other health professionals have spoken.

Obviously I am not looking at your teeth – but I can tell you stories – and help you MAKE UP YOUR OWN mind over these things.

On my blog I frequently talk about “side” fillings and how difficult they are to fill successfully. I think you should not in any rush to fill these!! The same with gum surgery. Take your time. Use other methods and wait until you are sure and until you are ready. Why should you be rushed into treatments? I don’t understand the hurry. I would rather you add some “extra help” to what has already been successful for you.

Clean Your Toothbrush:

Ensure your toothbrush is cleaned in Listerine every day.

After swishing in Listerine, rinse your brush and allow it to dry in sunshine ( away from anyone else’s brush and away from the toilet).

Bacteria die when they dry – so dry your toothbrush every day – maybe use one in the morning and another one for night. It is very important to know that really bad gum disease bacteria can grow on toothbrushes! Don’t rely on a UV sanitizer to clean your brush- we found they may not work.

Have Enough Xylitol:

Use adequate amounts of xylitol each day – in at least five divided doses – preferably after meals. You can add xylitol to water and drink this during the morning. Use Zellies mints and gum after every meal or snack. You must have at least 5 grams of xylitol each day – and more is better.

Have some Fish Oil – get rest and some sunshine:

Fish oil, vitamin C and the vitamins and in fresh pineapple contribute to skin and bone healing. Sunshine every day for at least 15 minutes! Some exercise too!

Enjoy whole milk and dairy products (cheese, yogurt and kafir) – they are good for teeth and gums. You may want to consider taking probiotics for your general health and immune system support.

Step up the Rinses:

With the rinse system – Closys is your absolute friend! Use this rinse for at least one or two minutes before brushing. Closys will help inactivate the anaerobic bacteria that often start periodontal problems.

Use Crest paste – and massage your gums when you brush.

Use Listerine to wash off the toothpaste ( and swish this around for 30-60 seconds). New studies show that one minute rinsing with Listerine can wipe out almost all the bad germs responsible for dental disease – quicker and more complete than other mouthrinses!

Allow ACT to wash over your teeth for at least a minute – before you spit it out. ACT is good for teeth but also works to rid your mouth of some nasty “pocket” bacteria – so make sure you give ACT at least a minute in your mouth.


The Night Guard:

Personally I am not a big fan of night guards.

The reasons they are put in are usually problems caused by mouth acidity – and mouth dryness. Using a night guard can sometimes make these problems worse – plus they can interrupt good sleep.

I am not in a position to give you advice – but you may want to experiment yourself and enjoy a night-guard holiday to see if it makes your mouth feel better!!

Hope this information has been helpful,


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