I’ve been reading about healing tooth decay with a high vitamin/mineral diet as I‘ve just been to the dentist and got the bad news that I have a cavity! I was pretty surprised as I rarely get cavities (even after skipping on the dentist for 5 years while eating a high grain/low fat diet!), and I eat close to (lacto) Paleo now which should support healthy teeth…. I reread Stephan’s great article on this: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/03/reversing-tooth-decay.html and I’m wondering if some of the foods I still include in my diet caused this problem due to phytic acid and/or sugar.
I was sorta thinking I was in the clear as I’ve been avoiding grains, and I thought nuts and chocolate would not actually leach minerals as they contain a fair amount. In any case here are the possible culprits:
Macadamia nuts (1/4-1/2 cup/day)
Fruit (1/2-1 piece/day)
White rice (perhaps ½ cup 1x per week)
Starchy tubers (I get leg cramps if I go VLC)
Coffee (rarely consumed before Paleo)
85% dark chocolate (maybe eaten too often, but less than binges on kids’ b-day cake pre-paleo!)
Gluten free English muffin (probably ½ muffin every few weeks, but they are made w/brown rice)
Or, is it more likely my mineral intake has not really been adequate? I do take D, but not in the summer and in winter I take only 1000 IU/day) I was assuming I was getting plenty of K with full fat pastured dairy, but perhaps I still need more?
I want to try to heal this cavity naturally. So far I have cut out all of the above foods except the tubers. I also upped my D to 2000 IU and rushed out and got some vitamin K… I should have read more first as I may have gotten the wrong kind. Mine is MK-7, but should I be taking MK-4? I’m not clear on dosage for K either and cannot seem to find a clear answer on that( I’m not interested in the RDA, but what dose would be enough to rebuild the tooth). Anyone out there have any experience healing tooth decay with diet?
Xylitol, xylitol, xylitol. The closest thing there is to a dental miracle.
Also, quality, real culture cheese - especially hard cheeses - are both decent sources of MK-4 and also directly influence remineralization. Eating hard cheese after a meal has been shown to halt decay, likely because the casein keeps amorphous calcium phosphate in solution - delivering it to areas of decay in an active form. This gave birth to the technology of "Recaldent", though several trustworthy dental experts have commented that milk powder or cheese would be just as effective.
Did the dentist use the new digital xray?
My daughter had no cavities for years. Even after braces she got a clean bill time after time. Then the dentist office switched to a digital xray procedure and bam! several cavities. They said this new machine is more sensitive and can "see" the smallest cavities. Maybe so, but I didn't trust the new procedure or the techs/dentists ability to read the "films." I wasn't buying it and having them drill for no reason. Got a second opinion, guess what? No cavities.
I just want to share this - I came to the whole Paleo approach from a Weston A Price/Sally Fallon point of view, I got there because of tooth decay in my children. We reversed our kid's decay using, among other things, fermented cod liver oil and butter oil. It's really great stuff - we also read Curing Tooth Decay by Rami Nagel. This stuff, while maybe not suitable for very strict/non-dairy Paleo-peeps, it worked for us. Good luck!
Dental caries ("cavities") are caused by bacteria like Strep mutans. I think the paleo diet puts you at lower, but not zero, risk, and therefore I'm not opposed to adding modern methods. I use Dr. Ellie's regimen (you can Google it, I won't link because it is a commercial site) as well as diet. While there are anecdotes to caries healing spontaneously, and probably some smaller ones do, most of the the time they progress. Don't risk losing your tooth, have the dentist take care of it. Then start to work on reducing the bad bacteria in your mouth for next time.
Are you sure there is a cavity? SOunds paranoid, but I was diagnosed with lots of cavities when I went to my childhood dentist. But when I turned 18 and was no longer on my father's insurance, I switched dentists. I have never been diagnosed with a cavity since then (22 years). The thing is, I didn't change my eating and lifestyle at all during most of the time. I suspect what really happened was my childhood dentist was a liar. These days, I like to get a second opinion!
Other than that I would say, calculate your nutrient intake for free on fitday.com and see if you are low on any minerals like magnesium. High meat intake is believed to contribute to increased magnesium requirements. If your intake was low already, then meat intake could push you over the edge.
Another piece of advice I'd give is start oil pulling, which is swishing/washing your mouth with fat (I use coconut oil) once per day. I don't buy into the crazier claims, but there is evidence that oil pulling reduces bacteria in the mouth and I've heard many who seem to have been helped by it when it comes to their oral health.
Bacteria LOVE Sugar. Sugar companies spent millions of dollars to figure out a way to keep cavities from forming due to eating sugar, of course to no avail.
So here's what I'm thinking, but I'm no expert on cavities... You should have it checked out by a dentist because the cavity has already formed. Your tooth will not rebuild itself, this decay and cavity will continue to exist (the geography of your tooth will stay the same..)
Having said that, you can help a lot by changing your diet so that you don't have issues with cavities in the future.
Sufficient calcium, vitamin A, D3 and K2 ought to be your best bets. The former 2 could be had from spinach, the latter from a 5000IU d3 supp and 100mcg k2 supp. I also eat natto every day, which is probably about 500mcg of k2 mk7. I'm not sure how much I get from the substantial quantities of pasture butter and eggs.
Healing Tooth Decay: Cod Liver Oil/Butter, Xylitol, Spry Gel & Tooth Powder http://daiasolgaia.com/?p=74
Paleo-Plus Dental Healing & Health Diet Recommendations http://daiasolgaia.com/?p=2892