If I polled 100 random people out on the street… if I asked them “Is it possible to reverse cavities? No dentist, no fillings, do you think you can heal cavities with food and supplements?” I’d be willing to bet 99 of out of 100 would say no. Maybe more. Maybe 99.5 if there was a little person around. In fact they’d probably think I was out of my mind for asking. Many of us haven’t even thought about the prospect of healing cavities; why would we? It’s been jammed into our heads from birth that when you have a cavity, you get a filling. And that’s all there is to it. I had several cavities as a kid. Actually, “several” may be an understatement. It was too many to count, but I do remember one specific visit to the dentist that revealed seven cavities. SEVEN! And now I’ve got a mouth full of fillings made of mercury and heavy metals... definitely not something I'd prefer to have permanently situated in my mouth. But as anyone who’s ever had a cavity knows, there’s not typically any pain associated with them. Sure they can develop into something worse, like an infection, but there’s no pressing reason to get a filling. I would have appreciated it if someone suggested to me that I could try a more natural approach.
So that’s why I’m writing this article, and that’s why this information is so important. It IS possible to heal your teeth naturally. And not only is it possible, it’s surprisingly easy. I’m not sure exactly why this information has disappeared over time; I assume it has something to do with the fact that it would ruin the dental industry. But this is something you need to know. This is something everyone needs to know. You have options. You CAN re-mineralize your teeth, and here are the people that proved it...
Drs. Edward and May Mellanby
The first is the work of a husband and wife team, Edward and May Mellanby, who wrote the book Nutrition and Disease. Their most important bit of research was published in both the British Medical Journal and the British Dental Journal in 1932 (1). In this study, they recruited 62 children with cavities and placed them on one of three diets for six months...
Diet 1: Their normal diet plus oatmeal
Diet 2: Their normal diet plus vitamin A + D supplement (cod liver oil)
Diet 3: Grain-free diet plus vitamin D supplement
And here's how each diet affected the childrens' cavities...
|Graph courtesy of Stephan at Whole Health Source|
A few things of note... First, the regular diet plus oatmeal group did HORRIBLY. Their diet clearly formed the most cavities, and showed no sign of healing. This diet was likely deficient in a variety of vitamins and minerals (remember, whole grains are a nutrient-poor food), specifically vitamin D. Back then foods weren't fortified with D. Second, taking cod liver oil alone looks to be highly beneficial. Just look at the dramatic difference between diet 1 and diet 2. And the best of all was diet 3, the grain-free diet with vitamin D, which prevented the most cavities and promoted the most healing. Pretty amazing stuff! It's not the most perfect study (not sure why they didn't just pass the cod liver oil along to the grain-free group), but the results are pretty shocking, especially if you thought a filling was the only way to fix a cavity!
Two take home messages. Grains promote cavity forming, cod liver oil and vitamin D promote cavity healing.
Weston A. Price
I've talked about Dr. Price before, just briefly. He was a dentist who, in the 1920s, explored the world looking for indigenous cultures who were free of tooth decay. And he eventually used the information he learned in his own practice back in America. In his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (pg. 290), he talks about feeding underprivileged children one nutritious meal a day and monitoring their dental health...
"About four ounces of tomato juice or orange juice and a teaspoonful of a mixture of equal parts of a very high vitamin natural cod liver oil [vitamins A + D] and an especially high vitamin butter [vitamin K2] was given at the beginning of the meal. They then received a bowl containing approximately a pint of a very rich vegetable and meat stew, made largely from bone marrow and fine cuts of tender meat: the meat was usually broiled separately to retain its juice and then chopped very fine and added to the bone marrow meat soup which always contained finely chopped vegetables and plenty of very yellow carrots; for the next course they had cooked fruit, with very little sweetening, and rolls made from freshly ground whole wheat, which were spread with the high-vitamin butter. The wheat for the rolls was ground fresh every day in a motor driven coffee mill. Each child was also given two glasses of fresh [raw] whole milk. The menu was varied from day to day by substituting for the meat stew, fish chowder or organs of animals." (Thanks again, Stephan)
Dr. Price provides x-rays before and after his intervention, and clearly shows re-calcification of cavity-filled teeth using this intervention. Cod liver oil, butter, bone marrow, raw milk... I don't think I've ever seen any of this on My Plate!? And yes, Dr. Price used grains, but the wheat he used was soaked and fermented, so the minerals were actually absorbed. Once upon a time, we all prepared grains this way, and we'd be healthier if we still did.
But what's most surprising about Dr. Price's method? He only fed the children one meal a day! Other than that, they ate their normal diet. This is important because for the average person out there trying to implement something like this, just changing their diet for one meal a day is VERY doable. And this stuff tastes great! It's not like you have to choke down a low-fat, zero-salt, anorexia-inducing cardiac diet!
What To Do
So both methods, although different, are effective for reversing tooth decay. Now here's what you can do for your teeth, whether you've got cavities to reverse or if you just want to keep them around for a while...
Things you must do:
- Get your fat soluble vitamins! That's A, D, and K2. This may be the single most important factor for healthy teeth. Try this Fermented Cod Liver Oil / Butter Oil Blend, which is based on the formula Weston A. Price used. The cinnamon flavor is delightful.
- Eat nutrient-dense animal foods like bone broth, organ meats, raw milk, butter, and eggs. And get them from naturally raised animals, ie. grass-fed cows and pastured chickens. Here you'll get calcium and phosphorous, the raw materials to re-mineralize your teeth, along with lots other good vitamins and minerals.
- Clean your teeth! Brush and floss every day. But believe it or not, toothpaste is NOT important... in fact, this study found that brushing without toothpaste removed more plaque than brushing with it (2). Plus, I've heard some talk about the ingredients in modern toothpaste preventing re-mineralization... I'd play it safe and stay away if you're really giving this a try. If you're into it, use baking soda. Or make your own baking-soda-based toothpaste.
- Minimize grains, especially whole grains. If you're going to eat them, prepare them properly. Check out Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions for just how to do that. Or try your luck with Google.
- Eat plenty of vegetables. Raw or cooked. Starchy or non-starchy. Leafy greens, potatoes, broccoli. Whatever. It's all good.
- Get plenty of sunlight for some vitamin D. Of course, don't burn yourself.
- Avoid industrially processed foods. Like anything in a box. And refined vegetable oils. This should go without saying.
When you study dental health in the context of the grain-based, nutrient-poor diet that we all eat, you'd get the impression that cavities are just incurable. But step outside of that paradigm and do something crazy, like eat the way our ancestors did... Eat nutrient-dense animal foods. Get plenty of fat-soluble vitamins. Minimize grains, or ferment them... and you'd be surprised what you find. You don't need to cover up your cavities with mercury and silver, you can re-mineralize your teeth all on your own!
I'd love to hear your thoughts! Does anybody have any personal experience with this? Let me know in the comments!