Category Archives for Sensitivity

Have Healthier Teeth & Gums by Following These 5 Wellness Points!

Wishing for a healthier mouth in 2017? Want to put an end to gum disease, cavities, and other oral health issues? Take control of your own oral health. You can achieve Ultimate Oral Health this year by understanding these 5 Oral Wellness Points.

5 Oral Wellness Points

  1. Bacteria Transfer
  2. Eating Causes Acidity
  3. Saliva is Your Best Friend
  4. The Mouth’s Nightmare
  5. Mouth Health  Body Health

Bacteria Transfer
Mouth bacteria are both good and bad. There are substantially more good ones than bad, but the bad ones cause big problems like cavities and gum disease – so they are not welcome visitors in our mouths. These bacteria – good or bad – do not just stay on teeth, they can travel and reach places like our toothbrush bristles. This is why it is vital to clean your toothbrush as often as possible – ideally every day. Also get a new brush as often as possible, especially if you have cavities or are fighting gum disease.

The great news for families and friends is that when your mouth is healthy – you will be sharing healthy bacteria with the people you love. Early childhood is a time when the mouth bacterial composition is designed, and the input from family is very important in this process. Parents can clean their mouth health and feed good bacteria by consuming small amounts of xylitol at the end of every meal. Baby teeth can also be cleaned with a small amount of xylitol, rubbed or wiped over teeth.

Eating Causes Acidity
Every time we eat we can almost assume that acids are generated in our mouths. There are a few exemptions to this, but most foods contain natural or added sugars, carbohydrates or some form of acid. Organic, healthy foods can be as damaging as processed foods for teeth. Green smoothies often rate as some of the most damaging for teeth since kale and spinach contain oxalic acids which can destroy tooth enamel.

Acidity pulls minerals from teeth and also promotes the growth of unhealthy mouth bacteria. The longer the mouth remains acidic, the more damage is caused. Waiting for an hour before cleaning your teeth is allowing damage for too long each day. Eating a little xylitol mint or piece of pure xylitol gum after every meal, snack or drink will take away mouth acidity and also help to mineralize teeth and repair any defects.

[Read more about acidity and your teeth]

Saliva is Your Best Friend
Today there are a number of expensive “re-mineralizing” pastes and gels sold to repair soft, weak or sensitive teeth. Your own saliva contains the ideal mix of minerals and is far better than these artificial products for this job of mineralizing teeth. The problem is that minerals will only go into teeth when the mouth is at a specific and alkaline pH of around 7.4. Fortunately xylitol generates a flow of alkaline saliva in most mouths to bring it to this pH.

When saliva interacts with the surface of teeth, it will help the teeth to harden and become smoother and stronger. It’s important to give your teeth enough time to interact with saliva. Constant snacking and sipping is detrimental to this process and is the reason many people experience sensitive teeth. Saliva quality varies throughout the day and mid afternoon is the ideal time to stop eating and drinking and allow your teeth time to interact with your own natural saliva.

The Mouth’s Nightmare
The most difficult time for our mouth health is while we are sleeping. The mouth automatically becomes drier and our saliva more acidic – two conditions that wreck havoc on our teeth and gums. This is why it is so important to prepare our teeth before we go to sleep, helping them to overcome the difficulties of the hours while we are asleep. It’s no use thinking that you can clean your teeth in the morning and make up for ignoring them at night: it just doesn’t work that way.

It’s vital to clean and protect your teeth before going to sleep each night. Many products today are too acidic for mouth health, especially all the products made to whiten or control plaque in the mouth. Many toothpastes are equally poorly designed for the care that teeth need during the night.

My Complete Mouth Care System was designed specifically to care for teeth and protect them during the night. In fact, it does its job so well, your teeth may be stronger, shinier and look better in the morning than they did when you went to bed!

[Download my free “how to” guide for my Complete Mouth Care System]

Mouth Health  Body Health
Many studies point to various connections between mouth and body health. Body health also affects mouth health in a number of ways. Diet and good nutrition is vital if you are trying to correct a problem in your mouth, and I often talk with clients about their digestive health and the need to consider a good vitamin and mineral supplement in addition to a good digestive probiotic supplement.

The ideal time to develop mouth health is during the early years of childhood. In many countries xylitol is given to preschool children as xylitol candies during the school day. This has been a public health measure in Finland for about 50 years to prevent cavities, and prepare the mouths of children before the eruption of adult teeth. Healthy adult teeth require less treatment, no sealants and less maintenance care. Healthy teeth and gums will promote better general health and hopefully allow us all to live longer, healthier lives.

Stress and Teeth

stress and teethLife is stressful – and stress can cause symptoms like migraines, digestive issues, and many kinds of aches and pains. Stress can also cause teeth and gums to experience symptoms that include:

  • Enamel loss (erosion)
  • Tooth wear (abrasion)
  • Bite problems with sensitivity at the gum line (abfraction)
  • Sensitivity
  • Darkening tooth color
  • Cavities

Fight or Flight

Stress has an effect on our nervous system and produces a “fight or flight” response. These changes are useful for a short burst of strength and energy, but if the response is prolonged it can damage general and oral health.
This fear response alters the circulatory and nervous systems. Blood is shunted to heart and limb muscles, giving them improved efficiently to help us run from danger. Less useful parts of the body – like the digestive tract – get less blood and function less efficiently. Less minerals are absorbed into the blood from the digestive system, and less blood and minerals reach saliva-producing glands.

Oral Health Problems

Stress results is less saliva and saliva with less minerals, which is consequently more acidic. Teeth lose their normal saliva protection and their ability to repair and re-mineralize. Teeth can even be damaged by the acidic saliva as it sucks minerals from enamel, causing additional weakness and porosity.
Lack of protection leaves teeth to dissolve in acidic drinks or acid reflux (erosion). Teeth can wear away during toothbrushing or if a patient grinds their teeth (abrasion). Fragments of weak enamel can fracture at the gum line leaving a sensitive groove (abfraction).

What Can You Do?

All these problems stem from acidic saliva and the loss of normal tooth protection. Don’t try to “fix” the symptoms of sensitivity, weakness or erosion with a sensitive toothpaste or a plastic bite guard! First consider any reasons for chronic stress and check your diet, consider supplements, digestive probiotics, and how to calm your body and improve digestive health.

Tips for Protecting Teeth

1. Use xylitol mints and gum throughout the day to protect teeth from acidic damage.
2. Consider Zellie’s and my Complete Mouth Care System to strengthen enamel and reverse problems of sensitivity, porosity, and cavities, by naturally re-mineralizing enamel.

Baking Soda – The Craze

baking-soda-2Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) is a handy cleaning product that is mildly abrasive in solution and is excellent for dissolving grease and molds. It can also be used as a powder to absorb musty odors. For these reasons, baking soda is great in the laundry or for cleaning the refrigerator and the powder can take bad smells from musty old books. It’s easy to be a fan of such a versatile product but be cautious before you join the craze to use baking soda on your gums and teeth. The ADA seems blissful in their recent relationship with Arm and Hammer, running ads for home and professional toothpastes in every journal – but is everyone happy with results from baking soda products?

The History

When gum disease was first recognized as a dental problem, the suggested treatment was to cut the gums and reduce the depth of pockets around teeth. Dentists did not know this was an infection but believed poor brushing was the cause. They cut the gums to less than 4 mm (the length of a toothbrush bristle) assuming the toothbrush would now reach the bottom of the pocket. In the 1970s there was uproar when someone suggested a different approach and that bacteria were to blame for gum pockets.

Keyes Technique

In 1978 a dentist called Paul Keyes, working at the National Institute of Dental Research, caused this controversy when he used a special microscope to diagnose periodontal disease, identifying germs in gum pockets and suggesting the revolutionary idea of “non-surgical” treatment. Dr. Keyes used a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, followed by systemic antibiotics. Even Keyes describes sensitivity following his treatment and suggested fluoride may help.

Emergency Mixture

A mixture of baking soda and peroxide had been used fifty years previously to treat ANUG, an ulcerative gum infection in the teeth of veterans living in the trenches of WWI. This mixture appeared to kill aggressive spirochete bacteria, allowing the gums to heal. Obviously baking soda may be a useful emergency treatment, but beware if you have sensitivity, enamel erosion, or gum recession after using it. Also be aware peroxide can release mercury from silver fillings, and both products may cause the edges of fillings to deteriorate.

What’s the Risk?

Over many years as a clinician I noticed baking soda connected with sensitivity, erosion, and gum recession – particularly in women with poor saliva or on mouth-drying medications. My hypothesis is that baking soda may damage the protein layer that protects teeth and gums from mechanical, thermal, and chemical assault. This layer is also important for attracting minerals to teeth, so its loss would cause sensitivity. I never recommend “sensitive” toothpastes because they are a panacea and not a solution, and I often wonder if there is some link between baking soda and the makers of these toothpastes!

Whitening Teeth

For a clean mouth I’d suggest you explore my Complete Mouth Care System and cultivate protective mouth conditions. I recommend patients use digestive probiotics because I believe it is impossible to enjoy mouth health without a healthy digestion. Oral probiotics may seem a good idea, but many contain artificial sweeteners like Splenda, that can damage gut health and even promote acid reflux. If you want an oral probiotic, I recommend Garden of Life Probiotic Smile lozenges, which contain strains of Streptococcus uberis KJ2, S.oralis KJ3 and S.rattus JH145, plus xylitol to feed probiotic bacteria. This product claims to safely whiten teeth because these probiotics produce a kind of hydrogen peroxide that comfortably and naturally whitens teeth, without the harsh and damaging chemicals found in other whitening products.

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Download our latest guidebooks for Ultimate Oral Health:

Zellies Xylitol Booklet Cover     Zellies CMCS Booklet

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For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:


Zellies.com – learn more & order Zellies Xylitol Mints, Gum and Candies
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more

Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

The Negative Effects of Bleaching Teeth

When something is commonplace, it is assumed to be safe – correct? Many people believe if whitening teeth were bad, someone would step in and stop the sale of bleaching products. The whitening industry has been growing rapidly over the past 10 years and currently generates over $11 billion a year. It is no wonder that we now have a huge turf fight, with dentistry trying to stop non-dentists from whitening teeth in malls and beauty parlors. Both sides are taking their cases to court, with non-dentists claiming that to make whitening a dentist-only treatment is giving dentists the monopoly in this lucrative business. You, my friends, have the teeth that everyone wants to bleach!

It is interesting that both sides claim the risks from bleaching “are minimal”. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry admits there is a problem of sensitivity after bleaching and hold this as one reason it should be a dentist-only treatment. The AACD admit that bleaching a decayed tooth can kill the nerve and Continue reading

Zellies Xylitol Guidebook: How to Use Xylitol for Ultimate Oral Health

Ultimate Oral Health is just around the corner… 

The pathway to ultimate oral health is not a mystery. It comes down to knowing why dental problems occur (it’s not as complex as you may think) and the easy things you can do to protect, improve, and heal your teeth.

In this booklet we’ve outlined the basic reasons why oral health problems exist and we’ve filled you in on nature’s best kept secret for oral health – xylitol! Xylitol is a natural, tooth-friendly sugar that will keep your smile bright and healthy.

Towards the back of the booklet, we’ve addressed some of the unique oral health concerns at every stage of life and have provided you with tips on how to use xylitol for ultimate oral health!

Here’s to bright, healthy smiles for life!

– Zellies

Click HERE or on the cover below to read the Zellies Xylitol guidebook!

Zellies Xylitol Booklet Cover

10 Easy Ways to Improve Gum Recession

Many people worry about receding gums, and it is sometimes associated with loss of jaw bone. Don’t underestimate these symptoms, because they warn that something is wrong with the health of your mouth. On the other hand, if you believe the universal answer to dental problems is to brush and floss, I hope you will consider a different approach.

Gum recession is usually a symptom of too much cleaning or unbalanced mouth chemistry, which is why additional brushing and flossing may make things worse, not better. Pellicle is a slick, slippery film that covers healthy teeth and gums to protect them from scratchy foods, strong spices, hot and cold, and other things that we eat or drink. Harsh products that strip the pellicle layer from your mouth can cause recession. Without the waxy coating of pellicle, teeth stain, become sensitive, and easily wear away.Continue reading

Black Triangles: Is It Time to Stop Flossing?

The chances are that if you grew up in the US you have been well instructed in the art of brushing and flossing. I have seen people in braces struggling to thread floss around the wires and elastics of the appliances and older folks who could not stitch a button on a coat be instructed to floss around their last upper molar!

Even perfect flossing and brushing can only remove 40 percent of plaque from your mouth. This is because there is a plaque component in saliva (you can’t floss this) and also on your tongue and skin of your mouth. This is why mouth rinsing makes so much sense and why xylitol makes Zellies Complete Mouth Care System amazing. Adequate amounts (6-10 grams) of xylitol daily helps make plaque slippery so the rinses can better wash your teeth. Using this system should remove 98% of plaque from your mouth – twice as much as flossing!

The problem with over-brushing or constant flossing is that it has the potential to do damage to your teeth and gums. If you beat down your gums with wooden points, brushes and floss, don’t expect them to grow back again. The pretty pink gums between your teeth will disappear – and the empty space will be a black triangle between your teeth. If you have gum recession, consider a better system to clean your mouth. Think about giving yourself a flossing holiday and your teeth may become less sensitive in a matter of days.

How much gum repair you get will depend on other factors that revolve around how well you brush them and also your body’s ability to heal. This will depend on your general health, diet, lifestyle, age, etc. You can help yourself by taking supplements and probiotics and pay attention to your diet. To help heal gums, check you have enough protein in your diet, and if possible consume some organic whole milk yogurt and cheeses every day. Xylitol can be dissolved in water as a drink to sip during the morning and this will help make your gums more comfortable and give them the best chance to heal.

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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!

The Dark Side of Whitening

You must have noticed whitening rinses on store shelves and maybe contemplated using them. These products are tempting, but don’t fall for those shiny, white bottles! Remember the bottle is made of plastic and nothing like your tooth enamel. These bottles are such an excellent marketing tool, because they make you subconsciously imagine this product will help your teeth be white and shiny, just like the bottle!

Tooth enamel is never white. Teeth are covered with an outer shield of glass-like material which is colorless – not white at all. (Only fake teeth are white because they are made of porcelain or plastic). Natural tooth enamel is clear and translucent and it’s color changes to look white as light reflects off its surface. Teeth will naturally look white if they are shiny, smooth and strong. If that surprises you – read on!

Acidity softens and roughens this glassy tooth surface because it etches the enamel (just like acids etch glass). This can make your teeth look white for a while, but the damaged and etched enamel is weaker and will eventually look darker or dull in color. White strips and whitening rinses may whiten teeth at first – but your teeth will quickly stain again, and possibly be fragile and break or become porous and sensitive.

Unfortunatley whitening products are not safe for you, or your teeth. I never suggest whitening rinses or toothpaste. Most whitening products are very acidic (a pH as low as 1.5). If you have weak or porous teeth – these products wreck havok on them. Dark or yellowing teeth need protection from acidity – not acidity! Use the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System to restore tooth enamel strength, and it will safely make your teeth look shiny, smooth, brighter and whiter in a few months.Continue reading