Good and Bad Tooth Bacteria

Dear Dr. Ellie

Thank you very much for your reply to my email, you have answered most of my questions. There was just one I have been unable to find an answer for. I have been through the blogs and could not find an answer. I would like to find out if listerine kills off the good bacteria in the mouth along with the bad. Are there any studies about this? Thank you again and if I find a store that sells Closys in Australia I will let you know. thank you so much.

– A
Dear A:
When used as part of this system, there have been nothing but beneficial long term effects reported by people on my program (and we started many on the program over 20 years ago).

The most important goal for sustained oral health is the growth and protection of a special pellicle layer that forms over teeth to protect them.

This layer is composed of salivary proteins and harbors a number of oral bacteria within the mesh.

Changes in the oral environment must “tip” the balance and promote the health of this protective biofilm – being sure NOT to “melt” it or negatively disrupt it. (By the way oxalic acids in spinach and citrus acids from fruits can do immense damage to this layer)

Listerine used as part of my system appears to stabilize this film and enhance its protective benefits.
Bleaching, peroxide, triclosan or the use of baking soda often have detrimental effects on this biofilm – which is why my product choices are so specific.

As far as studies on Listerine – there are many.
This has been a product that has withstood the scrutiny of decades and much research.
The problem is that the topic has changed in recent years as probiotics and biofilms have become better understood.

Only recently have we started to fully understand biofilm and this delicate balance of good vs bad.
Hopefully we will learn even more in the upcoming years – and stop people thinking that it is beneficial to scrub teeth and remove ALL biofilm.

This is why I suggest that healthy people do not need dental cleanings every 6 months.
Hope this helps,


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  • Dr. Ellie says:

    It is interesting that your link is to a website that promotes a specific product ….just a hunch but are you Dr Breath's friend by any chance??Ha!Interesting that this link recommends Chlorine Dioxide ( not in a products as good as Closys – but at least people are getting the importance of this oxygen step)I agree with the fact that alcohol dries the mouth – so we are not recommending that you leave Listerine on the tissues for more that the optimal 30-60 secs.No drying effect here!!Thanks – I think you just ENDORSED my system of care!!Ellie

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    I have posted many replies to comments like this over the years.I use Listerine myself and suggest it to my family, friends and patients with total confidence.In fact, since the last batch of studies – I use it for a full minute most days when i have time.I think my concern about oral HEALTH has been proven.I have worked with great effort to help launch a not-for-profit organization called American Academy for Oral Systemic Health.www.AAOSH.orgCheck out this website and the people who are involved.I fight on a daily basis to explain that mouth health is VITAL for body health and that gum disease can KILL you – literally.I suggest everyone finds out if they have gum disease – then use something ( like my system) to make your mouth really healthy.Take an Oral DNA test and find out what bacteria you have in YOUR mouth.If your mouth is healthy – that is great – stay using what you are using!! If it is not – you should explore the suggestions that I make.The people on my system that we have tested so far have come out of this test with fabulous results.Listerine will always have competitors and there will always be vocal adversaries – there are dentists and others that do not like ME!!!Acidity of Listerine is a problem plus the mouth-drying effects of the alcohol it contains. We address these issues by incorporating it into my system.I seem to repeat and repeat my position on Listerine and ACT.I am not forcing anyone to use these products.If you have bad teeth or want a great way to achieve ultimate oral health – I suggest you try my system and "feel" how superb and balanced the results are.Oral health is the prize we must aim for.Natural healing of gums and teeth will tell you that you have discovered something amazing.Maybe what you use works – but if it does not – then I can assure you that I KNOW my system does!!Thanks again for your comment.Ellie

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