Do Bread & Cereal Cause Cavities? Reversing Dental Decay With Food

by Ann Marie Michaels on April 2, 2009

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Reverse Tooth Decay - Reduce Phytic Acid and Consume More Fat Soluble Vitamins

Ask any mother (or any dentist for that matter) what causes cavities and they’ll tell you it’s sugar and not brushing and flossing. But is that really true?

What if it was all the corn flakes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and pasta we’re feeding our kids that’s causing their cavities? What if we could change our diet and not only prevent cavities, but actually reverse them?

As I mentioned the other day, I really love Stephan’s blog, Whole Health Source. He wrote a couple of very interesting posts this week on how to prevent and reverse cavities: Preventing Tooth Decay and Reversing Tooth Decay.

He quotes a study that shows that phytic acid in grains, nuts, seeds and legumes causes dental decay — due to a lack of absorption of minerals, and that avoiding phytic acid and increasing vitamin D promoted a reversal in tooth decay.

He writes:

Drs. Mellanby set out to see if they could use their dietary principles to cure tooth decay that was already established. They divided 62 children with cavities into three different diet groups for 6 months. Group 1 ate their normal diet plus oatmeal (rich in phytic acid). Group 2 ate their normal diet plus vitamin D. Group 3 ate a grain-free diet and took vitamin D.

Dental Decay Caused By Phytic Acid in Oatmeal

In group 1, oatmeal prevented healing and encouraged new cavities, presumably due to its ability to prevent mineral absorption. In group 2, simply adding vitamin D to the diet caused most cavities to heal and fewer to form. The most striking effect was in group 3, the group eating a grain-free diet plus vitamin D, in which nearly all cavities healed and very few new cavities developed. Grains are the main source of phytic acid in the modern diet, although we can’t rule out the possibility that grains were promoting tooth decay through another mechanism as well.

Dr. Mellanby was quick to point out that diet 3 was not low in carbohydrate or even sugar: “Although [diet 3] contained no bread, porridge or other cereals, it included a moderate amount of carbohydrates, for plenty of milk, jam, sugar, potatoes and vegetables were eaten by this group of children.” This study was published in the British Medical Journal (1924. 2:354) and the British Dental journal. Source: Whole Health Source

Stephan concludes:

Optimal tooth and bone formation occurs only on a diet that is sufficient in minerals, fat-soluble vitamins, and low in phytic acid.

So What’s Phytic Acid?

According to Wikipedia:

Phytic acid is found within the hulls of nuts, seeds, and grains. In-home food preparation techniques can reduce the phytic acid in all of these foods. Simply cooking the food will reduce the phytic acid to some degree. More effective methods are soaking in an acid medium, lactic acid fermentation, and sprouting.

Phytic acid is a strong chelator of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, and can therefore contribute to mineral deficiencies in people whose diets rely on these foods for their mineral intake, such as those in developing countries. It also acts as an acid, chelating the vitamin niacin, which is basic, causing the condition known as pellagra. In this way, it is an anti-nutrient.[1] For people with a particularly low intake of essential minerals, especially young children and those in developing countries, this effect can be undesirable

Does This Mean We Have To Stop Eating All Grains, Nuts, and Seeds?

No, of course not. But it does mean that we have to prepare our grains, nuts and seeds in order to reduce the phytic acid. Grains, nuts, seeds and legumes must be soaked for a minimum of several hours and up to a few weeks (depending on the food) in an acid medium (such as kefir, buttermilk, whey, lemon, or vinegar). You can sprout whole grains and then grind into flour, buy sprouted flour, and/or use a sourdough starter. Nuts and seeds can be soaked/sprouted and dried. Beans also need to be soaked before cooking.

How To Avoid Phytic Acid

Bread
I posted the other day about real sourdough bread, and how the long fermentation using a sourdough starter helps to reduce phytic acid. Trader Joe’s sells a few brands of bread made with real sourdough bread (read the label — it has to say “culture” — most “sourdough sold at stores is not real).

Or you can buy sprouted bread or buy sprouted flour to make your own bread For sources of sprouted flour. You can also buy a sourdough starter cultures.

Rice & Pasta
Rice is also lower in phytic acid, and while it’s ideal to soak it, you can get away without. Rice pasta is a good compromise food — it’s available at Trader Joe’s and other stores (I have tasted most of the brands and I think the Trader Joe’s rice pasta is the best tasting). I’m going to be learning how to make sourdough pasta and pizza dough in the near future and I promise to post about it.

Cereal
Avoid commercial cereal (I wrote a post a while back on why extruded cereal is bad for you). Buy oatmeal instead, and soak it overnight in warm filtered water, with a little kefir, vinegar, lemon juice, or whey to break down the phytic acid. You could also make granola using soaked grains and/or nuts. Here’s a recipe that explains how to soak and dry oats for granola. Here’s a recipe for cereal using whole grain flour.

Peanut Butter
You can make your own peanut butter. Soak the peanuts and then dry them in the oven or a food dehydrator. If you must buy store bought peanut butter, use in moderation. Peanuts are high in phytic acid. — click here for my homemade recipe

Soy
Avoid soy in all forms, even edamame — unless it is naturally fermented (in the form of naturally fermented soy sauce, miso, or natto). Soy is very high in phytic acid — unless it is fermented.

What Are Fat Soluble Vitamins?

There are 4 fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E & K.

Most people will tell you that you don’t need large amounts of these vitamins. However, Dr. Weston Price found that native people who had little to no tooth decay were consuming ten times the amount of fat soluble vitamins than people in his day (this was in the 1920s and ’30s, when people ate substantially more animal fat, lard and butter).

Best Food Sources of Fat Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin A

It is best to obtain vitamin A from natural sources like yellow butter, egg yolks, organ meats, fish, shellfish and cod liver oil as high amounts of synthetic vitamin A from supplements can be toxic, especially to those with impaired liver function and to those whose diets are otherwise poor. High levels of natural vitamin A have no toxic effects, in spite of the medical establishment’s dire warnings to the contrary. Antibiotics, laxatives, fat substitutes and cholesterol-lowering drugs interfere with vitamin-A absorption. Source: Weston A. Price Foundation

Vitamin D

The body manufactures vitamin D3 out of cholesterol in the presence of sunlight. Although some claim that we can obtain all the vitamin D we need by spending a short amount of time each day in the sun, Price found that healthy primitive diets were rich in vitamin D-containing foods like butterfat, eggs, liver, organ meats, marine oils and seafood, particularly shrimp and crab. Synthetic D2 has been linked to hyperactivity, coronary heart disease and other allergic reactions. New research indicates that optimal intake should be ten times higher than the US Recommended Daily Allowance, thus confirming the findings of Dr. Price. Source: Source: Weston A. Price Foundation

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is found in butter, organ meats, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and dark green leafy vegetables. Source: Weston A. Price Foundation

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is found in liver, egg yolks, butter, grains, dark leafy vegetables, vegetables of the cabbage family and fermented soy foods like miso (and natto). Source: Weston A. Price Foundation

Here are some great posts that will help you learn more about fat soluble vitamins:

The Nourished Kitchen on Fat Soluble Vitamins: Vitamins A, D, E & K

Kelly the Kitchen Kop on The Importance of Fat Soluble Vitamins

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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle @ Find Your Balance April 2, 2009 at 3:21 PM

This is awesome. I stumbled it! I just recently started hearing about phytic acid, mostly associated with brown rice. But nuts too, huh? Man.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance’s last blog post..Green wrap-up and a statement about vegetarianism

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Local Nourishment April 2, 2009 at 4:28 PM

It’s so funny that you should blog about this today. We just got back from the dentist ourselves! I am learning so much about diet and health that I really think my brain is going to explode all over the place! How exciting!

I wish we had known all this when I was a kid. Right now I have 17 chunks of amalgam filling in my mouth. I could never “brush well enough” to keep the cavities away.

Local Nourishment’s last blog post..Stop the Presses: Dental Update

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Jenny April 2, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Very interesting. I was just thinking about the dentist today. The fat soluble vitamins have a lot to do with preventing decay, and I strongly feel that the role of fat soluble vitamins has been largely ignored.

Jenny’s last blog post..Giveaway: Cultures for Health

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cheeseslave April 2, 2009 at 5:06 PM

I know, it’s weird that they have been ignored.

I guess it’s because industrial processed foods don’t have a whole lot of fat soluble vitamins — and so they don’t promote them.

I’m lucky — my dentist is a member of WAPF. He sells cod liver oil in his office!

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kg6267 February 13, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Any chance that you could give some advice on finding a decent dentist that understands about phytic acid, that understands that mercury is poison in your mouth, and out, and more? You are probably not supposed to give out specific names….but I have been so cheated financially and poisoned by dentists who filled my mouth with mercury and told me I wasn’t brushing enough, or wasn’t flossing correctly.
Thanks.

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cheeseslave April 2, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Thanks for the stumble, Michelle!

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Lolaloves13 April 2, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Great article! I am in love with your blog and Real Food Media! I go to Trader Joes, so I will have to check the bread. I want to go to California so bad now to go the bakery you have suggested and the farmers market and Soaptopia, Chez Panisse ect….. One question though, do you think Trader Joes butter is a good quality butter. It is recommended by WAPF. Just wanted to know your opinion. I can’t get Kerrygold or Anchor around here. The raw butter is a little pricey and my kids don’t really like. :( Thanks so much for your time!

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cheeseslave April 2, 2009 at 7:50 PM

Hi! I don’t know about the Trader Joe’s butter. I buy KerryGold or raw butter.

However, in the WAPF shopping guide, they say any butter is good — even if you can’t get grass-fed.

So I look at it this way, when it comes to butter:

1) BEST: grass-fed, raw
2) BETTER: grass-fed, pasteurized
3) GOOD: organic, not grass-fed, pasteurized
4) OK (AND BETTER THAN MARGARINE): non-organic, not grass-fed, pasteurized

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Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet April 2, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Another great post! I actually had my first few cavities a year or two ago right before I found out about healing them naturally (too bad). It’s interesting to note that I never had any problems with cavities (ever) until I went through some very stressful times and lost a lot of my good health. There was definitely a connection to my overall health and my teeth. Then to top it off, I was using a supplement that was very acidic and it caused my teeth to start getting really sore. But I took higher amounts of high quality cod liver oil (and ghee) and it almost immediately started helping. Our insurance doesn’t pay for dental, so I figure instead of paying the dentist to fix my teeth, I should put the money into real food and things like cod liver oil to keep them strong. :-)

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet’s last blog post..A Nourished Start: Breakfast Carnival Announcement!

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Kristin April 3, 2009 at 4:52 AM

Great info, Ann Marie. Thanks. I need to do a much better job with the bread/grain prep. Somehow I got through childhood with just one cavity….in a baby tooth. But a few years out of college I had 4!! I’m sure it was all the phosphoric acid in the diet Pepsi and later Coke that I drank in college and after! And my diet at that time was far less than optimal.

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Pam April 3, 2009 at 5:42 AM

My daughter recently went to the dentist (age 6) and we were informed she had 2 cavities and several teeth that were forming cavities. I found a great book called “Cure Tooth Decay” by Ramiel Nagel. His name is familiar to WAPF. He thoroughly explains myths that are perpetuated by the dental industry. Using cod liver oil, lots of butter and butter oil, no more sugar, cereal, unsoaked flours etc. , we have arrested the decay until the teeth fall out and her permanent teeth erupt. The dentist wanted to do over $4000 worth of work on a six year old’s baby teeth under general anesthesia. I politely asked for her records and left the office. Also, any toothpaste containing glycerin prevents teeth from re-mineralizing which also leads to soft enamel and eventually decay. Glycerin takes 27 rinses before it no longer coats the teeth. Use natural soap or tooth soap without glycerin.

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cheeseslave April 3, 2009 at 6:07 AM

Hi, Kristin!

Our bodies store vitamin A, vitamin D, and iron — however in time those stores are depleted. This is why many vegetarians/vegans feel healthy when they begin eating a vegetarian or vegan diet, but then after several months or a few years, they start having problems (like tooth decay).

I was getting a lot of cavities a few years ago — but I was eating a lot of bread, crackers and pasta (I ate a lot of butter and cheese, too — but I was consuming a lot of phytates).

Since I started eating traditional foods a year and a half ago, I had have no cavities.

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cheeseslave April 3, 2009 at 6:14 AM

Pam, what a smart and wonderful mother you are! That is AWESOME!

Yes, I am familiar with Rami Nagel. His own daughter had tooth decay at an early age. He found out about the teachings of Dr. Weston Price and followed the protocol of a traditional diet — and reversed his daughter’s dental decay.

Here’s his book on Amazon:

Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition (First Edition)

Oooh! I just found out that there is a Kindle version of t his book! I am going to download it!

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Kaylin April 3, 2009 at 7:49 AM

This is absolutely true. At age 6 1/2 my son, James, had cavities and the pediatric dentist felt it necessary to cap 2 of his baby teeth because the structure was so weak. Six months later we went back to the regular dentist, who found another small cavity and sent us back to the pediatric dentist to have it filled. The pediatric dentist asked me if I would mind if he didn’t fill it and just put a watch on it because fillings do carry risks. He felt that James’s overall dental hygiene was sooo much better that it might not be necessary to fill the cavity at all! The only thing that had changed is about the same time James got his 2 crowns I stopped buying cereal (it was killing our food budget buying all that organic “healthy” cereal) and I started feeding the kids eggs for breakfast instead. I am convinced that it made all the difference. I’m excited to go back to the dentist in a week and see if that small cavity is still there. I am very hopeful!

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FoodRenegade April 3, 2009 at 9:53 AM

My husband still hardly believes this. He’s on the Real Food bandwagon, but when I tell him about how you can actually CURE cavities and remineralize teeth, he thinks I’m a little nutty.

(I think he believes me. He just finds it truly amazing. He has no problem believing you can reverse heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. But teeth? That shocks him everytime he thinks about it.)

Thanks for participating in Fight Back Fridays this week. I *love* this post so much I Stumbled it and Tweeted about it. More people need this kind of information!

Cheers,
KristenM
(AKA FoodRenegade)

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cheeseslave April 3, 2009 at 10:04 AM

Thanks, Kristen!

I agree — more people need to know about this!!!

Ann Marie

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Mandy April 3, 2009 at 10:21 AM

This is a great post – very interesting! Although this really made me wonder how I lucked out and ended up with good teeth. I (unfortunately) grew up on dry cereal, toast (refined bread), or pop tarts every morning for breakfast and PB & J sandwiches (on the same bread) for lunch. I pretty much ate refined wheat all day every day for my entire childhood. Somehow I have arrived at age 29 with not a single cavity. I feel that ingesting fluoride in your drinking water is a no-no, but I did grow up with fluoridated water. I wonder if that made a difference?

By the way, your blog rocks! :-)

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Kristin April 3, 2009 at 10:37 AM

Another thought…..why is it that some infants/toddlers end up with decayed teeth? I know a few that were exclusively breast fed for 12 months or more and had this happen while being breastfed. Do you think this is the same issue?

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cheeseslave April 3, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Hi, Mandy,

What else did you eat? Did you regularly get fat soluble vitamins via eggs, milk, butter? Did you eat ice cream? Remember, the body stores these vitamins for a period of time.

The people I have seen with the worst bones and teeth are vegans — people who eat no animal products (and usually a lot of unsoaked/unfermented grains and soy).

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cheeseslave April 3, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Kristin,

This is happening a lot more frequently. I keep hearing stories about babies and toddlers with rotten teeth. Many of them are exclusively breastfed for 12 mos or longer.

I personally do not believe that babies should be exclusively breastfed for more than 6 months. I think you need to start giving them cod liver oil at around 4-6 months — because their iron stores get low. I also started feeding my daughter liver and egg yolks at around 6 months.

The other thing (and arguably more important thing) is, today we are seeing a lot more babies/toddlers with rotten teeth due to a lack of good bacteria and a damaged intestinal tract (leaky gut). This is due to the lack of good bacteria in the parents, which is passed down. Babies get all their beneficial gut flora from their parents — if the parents don’t have it, the babies don’t get it.

Many of us adults today have inadequate good bacteria in our digestive tract — due to various things including antibiotics, chlorine in tap water (and in swimming pools and showers), the birth control pill, other medications, and also not replenishing our good bacteria by regularly eating fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, sourdough, kombucha, sauerkraut, and so on). Many women spend years on the pill and on antiobiotics and then end up with inadequate good bacteria to pass on to our children. We can’t give them what we don’t have ourselves.

Without adequate beneficial bacteria in the gut, we cannot properly absorb nutrients. No matter how much cod liver oil you take or egg yolks and liver you eat (or breast milk you drink), you are not going to assimilate the nutrients from those foods if you can’t absorb them.

I also believe this is the reason for so many allergies in kids today, and for the huge increase in autism and autism spectrum disorders.

So for babies with rotten teeth who are eating a healthy diet full of fat-soluble vitamins, I really recommend a therapeutic-grade probiotic. Biokult is the best in my opinion (many probiotic supplements simply do not work).

Also, the GAPS diet is the best protocol to help heal the gut. If mom is breastfeeding, she needs to do GAPS, too.

http://gapsdiet.com/

As long as mom and baby are eating allergens they cannot digest, the gut cannot heal.

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Sustainable Eats April 3, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Cheeseslave, this is so informative – reflux is on the rise, as are infant mortality rates for the first time since the 40′s when March of Dimes started keeping records. I believe it is all related.

I felt like I had such a healthy diet for years and breastfed my kids as long as possible but wish I had known more about this while I was pregnant. If only I had listened to my grandmother while she was still alive and shunned all this junk (except that she ate predominantly white bread but at least she baked it herself.)

Thanks so much for all that you do.

xo,
Sustainable Eats

Sustainable Eats’s last blog post..Homemade 100% Whole Wheat Bread – Swoon-worthy

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Stephan April 3, 2009 at 4:46 PM

What, your dentist sells cod liver oil?? That’s amazing! I get the feeling that a lot of dentists don’t even acknowledge the connection between diet and tooth decay at all, besides sweets.

About children getting rotten teeth on breast milk: breast milk is deficient in vitamin D if the mother is deficient. You have to get your serum 25(OH)D3 pretty high before breast milk becomes a good source. Infant rickets is a growing problem in the US due to maternal deficiency. The mother’s D status when she’s gestating also impacts tooth formation of the child. The mother’s vitamin K status also impacts K2 in the milk.

Back before strollers, cars, indoor lifestyles and overprotective parents, babies would have gotten sunlight as well.

Thanks for the link!

Stephan’s last blog post..Reversing Tooth Decay

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Anna April 5, 2009 at 3:06 PM

A little late to the convo…but I am another example like Mandy….also in my late 20′s and no cavities or major dental work, besides wisdom teeth extraction.

Breastfed, though not exclusively, until 18 months. My parents let me have a warm bottle of whole milk before bedtime until I was 5. That should have given me atrocious “bottle mouth” but somehow I was spared. My mother gave me vitamins, even in adult dosages, when I could manage to swallow them, around age 7. Regular dental visits until a couple of years ago. I ate the SAD, complete with Kool-Aid made with lots of sugar in the summers and ice cream. Mom did cook from scratch and prepared lots of fish. My two brothers didn’t require braces. We all played outside whenever the sun shined.

In the big mix, we did something right. :-)

Anna’s last blog post..A New Mission

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Rod Newbound, RN April 5, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Very good article.

Thanks for sharing.

Since I work with the geriatric population, I’m wondering if a similar diet might reverse degenerative arthritis and osteoporosis since both are related to bone building, which is very similar to what happens in the teeth.

Rod Newbound, RN’s last blog post..The Truth About “Grass Fed” Beef

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Erin April 6, 2009 at 6:21 AM

If sourdough bread only lists whole wheat flour, water, and salt as ingredients, is it likely that it is real sourdough? That’s what my Trader Joe’s in Wisconsin has, so here’s hoping… for those days where I need bread faster than my 24 hour no-knead recipe with sourdough starter can make it. :)

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cheeseslave April 6, 2009 at 7:56 AM

Erin – I’m not sure. I would ask them. The ones I buy from TJ’s include the word starter or culture (can’t remember which) in the ingredients list.

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Carey April 7, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Mandy,
What was your mother and grandmother’s diets growing up? You were probably getting by on the reserves you got from them.

Carey

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Melinda April 7, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Great post Anne Marie. I totally agree with your assessment about why babies on good diets get tooth decay – absorption is way overlooked.

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Julie April 8, 2009 at 7:39 AM

Where does one get “tooth soap”. ?

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Lindsay April 15, 2009 at 6:05 AM

Having dealt with Gluten issues in the past, I find that tinkyada brand holds up best to the “does it taste/feel like pasta?” test. http://www.tinkyada.com/
Although, to be fair, I haven’t ever tried the Trader Joes brand.

Lindsay’s last blog post..Got Lies?

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Aimee Gallo April 17, 2009 at 4:49 AM

Thank you so much for this article! I’ve known about the link between nutrition and dental health for quite some time but hadn’t had the opportunity to go hunting around for the research myself.

It’s hard to find a dentist who doesn’t push flouride; I suspect it is the only thing they learn can prevent caries. Vitamin D deficiency is an absolute epidemic, regardless of latitude; it is absolutely logical this would affect tooth health.

Aimee Gallo’s last blog post..Detox Friendly Pesto

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cheeseslave April 21, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Hi, Rod,

So sorry I didn’t respond to your question in a timely manner. I’ve been busier than a one-legged man in an a**-kicking contest launching the No GMO Challenge (it’s going live tonight).

I’m not an expert but yes, I do think this would absolutely help prevent and reverse osteoporosis and other issues with bone density. You need calcium and other minerals to build strong bones. I also wrote this post about osteoporosis:

http://www.cheeseslave.com/2009/04/14/got-osteoporosis-drink-raw-milk/

Ann Marie

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cheeseslave April 21, 2009 at 2:34 PM
cheeseslave April 21, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Lindsay – Yes I have heard good things about Tinkyada. I have not had the occasion to try it yet.

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cheeseslave April 25, 2009 at 6:24 PM

Stephan – I don’t know if you will even see this because I was so freakin’ slow about responding. So much going on the past few weeks — ugh!

Yes, my dentist really does sell cod liver oil. He has a display in his waiting room. And he has Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions” on his bookshelf.

Here is his info, for those in LA looking for a good dentist:

http://westonaprice.org/healthissues/facial-development.html

http://los-angeles-dentist.doctoroogle.com/reviews/viewdentist.cfm/pageID/8/dentistID/13893/los_angeles_dentist/dr_raymond_silkman

“About children getting rotten teeth on breast milk: breast milk is deficient in vitamin D if the mother is deficient. You have to get your serum 25(OH)D3 pretty high before breast milk becomes a good source. Infant rickets is a growing problem in the US due to maternal deficiency. The mother’s D status when she’s gestating also impacts tooth formation of the child. The mother’s vitamin K status also impacts K2 in the milk.”

Thanks for posting that. So many mothers have been duped into believing that mother’s milk is the miracle food that will cure all ills. Don’t get me wrong — I’m a big believer in breastfeeding and I think moms should do it as long as they can. That said, I think mothers need to eat right AND supplement with cod liver oil. And I think infants need to start getting cod liver oil at around 6 mos.

Thanks again, Stephan, for your comment and your blog. I love the information you post and I hope you don’t stop!

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Stephan May 2, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Just saw your message- thanks for responding. It sounds like you found a good dentist. I haven’t been to the dentist in eight years, haha. Last time I went, I hadn’t been in eight years and he told me “you have great teeth”. I said “see you in eight years”. So I guess it’s about time for me to get checked out.

I’m joking around but I’m a bad example. Even if you’re eating well, it’s probably a good idea to get regular checkups.

Stephan’s last blog post..Iodine

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Kiera K. Taylor May 12, 2009 at 1:14 PM

When I was growing up, I had lots of cavities.

I remember distinctly my dentist at one point asking me, frustrated, “what do you EAT?”

“Bread,” I answered.

And yes, that was mostly what I ate.

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Allison May 18, 2009 at 9:17 PM

I know this is an old post, but would you mind sharing the name of your dentist? I’m also in LA and have been looking for one for a while. Thanks!

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cheeseslave May 19, 2009 at 5:04 AM
Katterine | has new dental braces November 12, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Wonderful and simplified information on how to prevent cavities!! Now on to braces! Did Dr. Price not say that the right nutrition can prevent wrong growth of the jaw bone? That could make dental braces unnecessary? We see so many kids needing them these days.
.-= Katterine | has new dental braces´s last blog ..Need Dentures Relined, No Health Insurance From Work, Lost Denti-Cal =-.

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T February 1, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Do I have to soak brown rice pasta the night before since I will just be boiling it? I use the Tinkyada brand. tx

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cheeseslave February 1, 2010 at 4:03 PM

@ T

I don’t soak them. I don’t think you could soak them.

Sally Fallon Morell says that you don’t absolutely have to soak rice b/c it’s lower in phytates. I do try to soak it as often as possible though.

We don’t eat rice pasta very often though. Maybe once every few weeks or once a month at the most.

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derridian February 22, 2010 at 8:46 AM

Good article on the role of Phytic acid and cavities. In order to get the teeth enamel to re-mineralize there are lots of factors going on of which phytic acids are just one.
The enamel can’t actually regrow. What’s going on is the tooth enamel is 96% mineral and the strongest substance in the human body. It’s great for chewing, but the high mineral content can be leeched out of the enamel through poor diet and acidic environments. Once it is lost the enamel does not re-grow.

Enamel can be strengthened by a process called remineralization – which is basically adding minerals to the enamel matrix through the saliva. Enamel is weakened by de-mineralization – which is the stripping of minerals from the enamel. Your enamel is in a state of constant flux between the two states. When the acids begin to dissolve mineral more quickly than your saliva can replace it you get a cavity.

What you need to do is avoid the foods and processes that de-mineralize the teeth, and increase the foods and processes that re-mineralize the teeth.
Phytic acid blocks the mineral absorption.
However, this is just one of several factors that prevent mineralization.

Anyone wishing to re-mineralize their teeth needs to ensure that their teeth are really clean and can remineralize.

Best to look for natural toothpastes without gylcerin, or use tooth soaps, or baking soda. You also need to encourage saliva production and keep the mouth moist – oil pulling is great at keeping the mouth clean and really working out the salivary glands.

Finally, once you remove the processed foods and add foods that are high in Vitamin K2, Vitamin C and Vitamin D, in your diet you will start to feel your teeth becoming less sensitive as you strengthen the enamel layer.

Enamel Remineralization

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Igor August 30, 2010 at 7:55 AM

Why do grains have to be soaked in an acidic medium? Wouldn’t soaking them in plain water (as is done in order to sprout them) work just as well?

Note that dry roasting nuts and grains neutralizes some of their antinutrients as well, so if you’re going to buy peanut and other nut butters, look for ones that were made from dry-roasted nuts.

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Igor August 30, 2010 at 8:21 AM

@Mandy – I think a lot of it is just genetics. My wife grew up on junk food and rarely brushed or flossed and she has a perfect set of teeth. Her brother grew up on the same diet and he’s had nothing but problems.

Going by the results of the experiment described above, it would seem that one might be better off from the standpoint of tooth decay to eat a diet containing refined sugar and flour than to eat one that is high in whole grains.

I don’t believe that fluoride does anything beneficial for the teeth. If our bodies need fluoride at all, it’s in trace amounts, not in the quantities supplied by fluoridated water. When you look at the average person’s combined fluoride intake, it’s way above anything that could be considered safe by anyone.
.-= Igor´s last blog ..How natural are Aubrey Organics =-.

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Igor August 30, 2010 at 8:47 AM

Also, any toothpaste containing glycerin prevents teeth from re-mineralizing which also leads to soft enamel and eventually decay. Glycerin takes 27 rinses before it no longer coats the teeth. Use natural soap or tooth soap without glycerin.

Soap contains glycerin as a natural byproduct of the saponification process. Even mass-produced soaps like Ivory which have had most of the glycerin removed have had a small percentage added back in. If you don’t want glycerin on your teeth, use detergent or baking soda instead.

But why would glycerin on the teeth be a problem? Why would it be any worse than the coating of butter or olive oil the teeth receive when one eats?
.-= Igor´s last blog ..How natural are Aubrey Organics =-.

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Igor August 30, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Another thought…..why is it that some infants/toddlers end up with decayed teeth? I know a few that were exclusively breast fed for 12 months or more and had this happen while being breastfed.

Was there perhaps something lacking in the mother’s diet that wasn’t getting passed down through her breast milk?
.-= Igor´s last blog ..How natural are Aubrey Organics =-.

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Igor August 30, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Did Dr. Price not say that the right nutrition can prevent wrong growth of the jaw bone?

Yes. That was pretty much the entire gist of his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
.-= Igor´s last blog ..How natural are Aubrey Organics =-.

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Igor August 30, 2010 at 9:35 AM

I’ve seen a lot of talk both here and on the net in general about the “remineralization” of teeth. Has anyone actually had a cavity spot remineralize?

I’ve been following the WAPF dietary guidelines for about 7 years now and can safely say that a good diet can put a stop to tooth decay. However, I have seen no evidence whatsoever that tooth decay can be reversed through nutrition.

I’ve had a small cavity for about 8 years now which I never got filled and while it hasn’t gotten worse, it’s never gotten better, either. And I’ve been brushing my teeth with bar soap for over two years now (though I recently switched to baking soda just to see if that would make a difference, since some people claim that glycerin blocks remineralization).

Personally, I’ve just about given up on the idea that teeth remineralize in a significant enough way to reverse cavities. The rare times I go to a dentist these days it’s to a holistic one, and when I brought up the subject of remineralization with the hygienist there, she told me that she had heard of it but had never personally seen a case where it happened.

Improve your diet and keep your teeth clean to prevent further decay, but don’t get your hopes up as far as reversing damage that has already been done.
.-= Igor´s last blog ..How natural are Aubrey Organics =-.

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Jim March 3, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Igor,
I agree, many people can be confused with the ‘reversing decay’ jargon. Basically, it works like this: the enamel and dentin of your teeth are made up of a protein structure (think of studs in a wall) and minerals that fill it all in (like the sheetrock, insulation, etc.). If the minerals are removed, it leaves just the protein matrix, which CAN be healed if your body is able to put the minerals back into the tooth. This is what is known as by remineralization. However, if the cavity progresses to the point where the protein structure is gone as well, which is the natural progression of all untreated cavities, your body CANNOT remineralize the teeth, no matter what the diet. Just like in the analogy of a wall, when the studs are gone, no amount of sheetrock and insulation will build the wall back again. It sounds like you may have a case of the latter type of cavity.

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Bruce October 6, 2010 at 7:11 AM

It is staggering just how much there was during Price’s time regarding the connection between nutrition and cavities:

Agnew, M. C.; Agnew, R. G.; Tisdall, F. F. (1933) The production and prevention of dental caries. Journal of the American Dental Association, JADA 20; 193-212.

Anderson, P. G.; Williams, C. H. M.; Halderson, H.; Summerfeldt, C.; Agnew, R. (1934) Influence of vitamin D in the prevention of dental caries. Journal of the American Dental Association 21; 1349-66.

Bennett, N. G.; et al. (1931) The influence of diet on caries in children’s teeth. Special Report Series – Medical Research Council, UK No. 159, 19.

Day, C. D.; Sedwick, H. J. (1934) Fat-soluble vitamins and dental caries in children. Journal of Nutrition 8; 309-28.

East, B. R. (1938) Nutrition and dental caries. American Journal of Public Health. 28; 72-6.

His Majesty’s Stationery Office, London. (1936) “The influence of diet on caries in children’s teeth. Report of the Committee for the Investigation of Dental Disease”.

McBeath, E.C. (1938) Nutrition and diet in relation to preventive dentistry. New York Journal of Dentistry Dentistry 8; 17-21.

McBeath, E.C.; Zucker, T.F. (1938) Role of vitamin D in the control of dental caries in children. Journal of Nutrition 15; 547-64.

McBeath, F.C. (1934) Vitamin D studies, 1933-1934. American Journal of Public Health , 24 1028-30.

Mellanby, Edward (1930) The relation of Diet to Death and Disease; Some new investigations BMJ Apr 12, 1930 pg 354 ((Edward Mellanby was the discover of Vitamin D)

Mellanby, May C. Lee Pattison and C. W. Proud, (1924) “The Effect of Diet on the Development and extension of caries in the the teeth of children” BMJ Aug 1924 pg 254

Mellanby, M. (1937) The role of nutrition as a factor in resistance to dental caries. British Dental Journal, 62; 241-52.

Tisdall, F.F. (1937) The effect of nutrition on the primary teeth. Child Development 8(1), 102-4.

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sudha January 28, 2011 at 12:42 AM

Is it just the diet or even the way the body chemistry works with relation to how it absorbs nutrients, neutralises anti-nutrients and also just about having healthy digestion and gut? Yes, I’ve had the grains, bread, all the phytic acid foodstuff, but I also had lots of cod oil, clarified butter (ghee), cheese, milk and all the foods advised. My teeth went south when I got braces put – and all the rinsing, flossing, cleaning did not stop the cavities, and later crowns. To add to this, I also ended up with digestion problems due to antibiotics. I cut out all the unhealthy food and went even more into healthy eating, yet, for a long time, I had digestion difficulty.Some of the diagnoses that came my way were about having poor enamel formation (and I was pretty kicked at having white teeth), crowded narrow jaw, highly acidic saliva, and having a systemic imbalance. I was the one doing all the healthy stuff and yet, something was not working – must have been assimilation problems. Then, with homeopathy, ayurveda, etc., I am on the road to improvement. I found that cell salts really made a difference. So do baking soda rinses and using tooth powders. My cavities have not worsened, but some teeth act up during my periods. Anyway, now, I intend to take Ramiel’s advice even more to heart and heal my teeth even more.

What intrigues me is that my sister loves all the abovementioned food – breads, grains, peanuts, chocolate, coffee, etc. are all her comfort foods. Stress could really get to her. She was and is not too much into rinsing, flossing. She wore braces too. But, she always had great digestion. And her teeth were and are still very good – slightly yellow (which is supposed to indicate strong enamel). Also, they are topographically not very grooved and sit together very tightly. Maybe this is also important.

I have frequently seen people who eat all the wrong, no-no stuff, and yet have superb teeth. So, there must be something else too going on besides the right food intake? Is their immune system stronger? Makes me curious.

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Alisue July 2, 2011 at 7:54 AM

Thanks for this post…will be sharing!

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LeahS July 20, 2011 at 8:07 AM

I’ve looked into healing cavities somewhat but I have never seen the striking comparison of what just adding vitamin D can do! Impressive!

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Gyuri August 22, 2011 at 11:17 PM

Hello,

You say that soaking should be in an acidic medium like Kefir.

But if nuts and cereals have phiytic acid shouldn’t they be soaked in a basic medium?

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eileen October 21, 2011 at 4:01 AM

Exceptionally useful post – thanks! :)

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The Bread Geek November 14, 2011 at 7:31 PM

I have been making naturally yeasted bread (here you call it sourdough) for years. I found out about phytic acid just as I had mastered the art of whole wheat bread, and was devastated to consider the possibility that my bread was hurting my family. Phytic acid causes more than just tooth decay, it can actually even go as far as to cause rickets in small children who consume a diet of exclusively untreated whole wheat products. One thing most people don’t understand about phytic acid, however, is that once phytic acid is neutralized by a long soak in an acid medium (like naturally yeasted bread dough) it actually becomes a powerful anti-oxidant. Oncologists have actually used extracted phytic acid to treat certain forms of cancer. The trick is to prepare your grains properly so it can turn from villain to super-hero. Thank you for the wonderful post!

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dental implants chandler November 24, 2011 at 11:15 PM

This is very interesting blog, I have ever read. As it is mentioned here in this blog most people think that by brushing and flossing alone can help the teeth from the cavities. It is important to maintain a balanced diet as well in order to have a strong and healthy teeth. This particular blog will be helpful to many people and it will create awareness to maintain or follow a balanced diet.

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Suzy Frame July 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM

This is such an interesting article. I found it very interesting that all these foods may be the reason for many of the cavities in children. dentistry for children edina have been very interesting as I have looked into some research. Thanks for sharing this article though! It has been very interesting.

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sacramento dental August 27, 2013 at 9:35 AM

I do trust all of the ideas you’ve presented to your post. They are really convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too brief for beginners. May you please lengthen them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

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Jim March 3, 2014 at 8:02 AM

Interesting article, though I think that it may be slightly misleading. It is true that some cavities may be ‘reversed’, but there is a point beyond which no cavities can physically be reversed, no matter what the diet.

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