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

Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

About the Author Dr. Ellie

My passion is educating people about oral health. For decades I’ve worked with patients of all ages, in different countries, in high and low-risk communities, and from every walk of life. I’ve seen the same results over and over again –people who transformed their oral health – sometimes in days or weeks, even after they had suffered years of pain and frustration. It’s never too late, and my ways will give you the key to a lifetime of improved oral health.

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