Q&A with Dr. Ellie: Not all xylitol products are the same

Every month Dr. Ellie Phillips will answer your oral health questions as part of the Ultimate Oral Health Guide.


Q: Are the gums on the market – such as Trident – effective at delivering xylitol? Also, I make lemonade with xylitol in the summer and my kids don’t know the difference. Is that not as effective as xylitol and water because of the acidity of the lemon?  -P


A: Dear P,

Any gum (like Trident) that mixes xylitol and sorbitol together – basically inactivates the benefits of the xylitol – plus sorbitol can give you bad stomach problems. Sorbitol is used by plaque bacteria – to produce thickened plaque – and many who eat a lot of sorbitol (sugarless) gum have gingivitis and bleeding gums.

Also, sorbitol appears to give people symptoms of acid reflux – quite possibly because it fuels the bacteria responsible for indigestion symptoms (C. Pylori).

So – my suggestion: don’t consume gum with sorbitol – it is really not safe for you or for your teeth!

Also you would be better to use a natural sugar in the lemonade and then have some xylitol after drinking it. I do not recommend putting xylitol in acidic or harmful drinks – it gets too diluted in the acidity. Use xylitol immediately after to take the acidity away.

Best wishes,
Dr. Ellie


For more information, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:

Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more
Zellies.com – learn more & order your Zellies Xylitol & the Complete Mouth Care System
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie

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