Rinsing and brushing teeth with xylitol sugar
Frequently asked questions (FAQ 4)
"Whenever someone used enough of it [Xylitol], they were invariably successful. In fact, I have waited for years for this treatment to fail, but in vain."
Dentist Dr. Ulrich Bruhn
FAQ part 1: all questions
Tooth decay or dental caries is not due to lack of fluoride, and applying fluoride isn't necessarily the best form of caries prophylaxis1. Fluoride can make the enamel composition somewhat harder meaning that the enamel may resist a bit longer to acid attacks so cavities form a little slower. They still will form eventually if the diet is faulty and dental hygiene less than ideal, in other words, fluoride may simply allow to gain some time.
In contrast, xylitol acts on one of the most essential immediate causes of tooth decay, the cariogenic bacteria which produce plaque and the acids which lead to tooth destruction. After years of experience with the application of xylitol as a dental "treatment", dentist Dr. Bruhn suspects that xylitol if used in sufficient quantity should be plenty sufficient by itself, but he emphasizes that scientific corroboration is yet to be furnished.
Various volunteer subjects have indeed experienced rapid pain relief when they allowed some xylitol to melt in their mouth 4 times a day or more and then gingerly spread the sweet saliva over the sore area using their tongue.5
If you have xylitol gel which is easy to spread, you have an even simpler method of application.
This is likely since numerous phenomena observed in xylitol users point in this direction. To date, we have no scientific studies on this subject, however. Conceivably, xylitol in higher concentrations could work similarly to a localized antibiotic. (Dr. Bruhn)
Does xylitol do damage in the long run since it not only kills noxious bacteria but also the normal (beneficial) oral bacteria?
Don't confuse xylitol with antibacterial mouthwashs (containing Chlorhexidine etc.) which will indeed destroy most all bacteria present for a certain period of time.
In contrast, as far as we know, xylitol mostly works against the noxious caries bacteria while apparently leaving other helpful oral bacteria alone. Mother-and-child studies have shown that several months of xylitol use led to a strongly decreased caries risk even years after both mothers and children stopped taking xylitol. This points to the beneficial action of xylitol helping the oral microbial community (via the elimination of streptococci) to recover and return to a more robust state rendering a renewed colonization by Strep mutans a less easy affair.2
After half a teaspoon of xylitol, my mouth runs over with saliva so I can't brush my teeth properly.
Reduce the xylitol dose for brushing teeth, start brushing immediately, stand straight and keep mouth shut as much as possible.
Use a manual toothbrush with a small head rather than an electrical one.
Does xylitol help remove stains from teeth (stemming from tea, coffee, red wine, cigarette smoke etc.)?
In addition to using the correct tooth brushing technique (which is decisive in such cases), the following methods can help:
Rinse your teeth with xylitol for several minutes. Rub off the stains (which thanks to xylitol will be slightly less adhesive) using your finger, a dishtowel3 or similar implement. With tougher stains, put another half or full teaspoon of xylitol into your mouth and vigorously brush the stains for several minutes. If still required, follow by rubbing off as before.
Dentist Dr. Ulrich Bruhn commented that in his experience, xylitol was more effective at removing stains from teeth than all toothpastes he had ever tried. Attention should be paid to using sufficient amounts of xylitol, if need be an entire teaspoonful at once, and to subsequently thoroughly brush the teeth for 5 minutes, followed if required by wiping with a dishtowel or similar object.
"An inflammation around a tooth root cannot be influenced with xylitol." (Dr. Bruhn) Compare So far, I've had no success rinsing/brushing my teeth with xylitol for suggestions how to improve your "xylitol experience". Also refer to Healing reports & testimonials re the use of xylitol sugar (scroll to number 6: Root-treated tooth that keeps "reporting for duty") which shows that at least with low-level infections, xylitol CAN help with tooth root infections.6
Dissolve some xylitol in your mouth and hold the saliva for 5 minutes, this might help. (The fundamental first-aid measure to think of naturally is drinking some water!)4
1 Compare The harmful effects of fluoridation.
2 Compare Xylitol protects children's teeth.
5 For many more remedies, compare Canker sores (aphtous ulcers or stomatitis): possible causes, natural and home remedies.
6 For a number of ways people have successfully addressed inflammation in the area of the tooth root, see Tooth root infection remedies: suggested nontoxic, non-invasive and/or natural healing approaches based on anecdotal evidence.