I've probably had 15-20 cavities filled in my 32 years.
Up until a few years ago, I always thought that cavities were just an annoying thing that happened, and there wasn't a whole lot we could do to avoid getting at least a few. Lower your sugar intake, brush and floss well, and you'll get less, right? When they do happen, simply get it drilled, and if you're health conscious you can choose the white fillings over the silvery ones containing mercury. End of story.
Then I read the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston Price about four years ago, and my thinking shifted entirely. I now believe 100% that teeth can be strengthened and remain cavity free through real food and traditional nutrition. Not only that, but even once a cavity has formed, it can be remineralized and filled back in again, quite possibly requiring zero dental work.
I know this is a highly controversial issue. Would it surprise you to know that the most viewed (and most ferociously challenged) post on this entire website is Rethinking Oral Health Care: A Homemade Toothpaste Recipe for Tooth Remineralization? Even the mere idea that teeth can be remineralized through any method brings about loud protest from the dental health professionals.
To some extent, I get it. It's so far-fetched compared to what we're learned about oral health. Sure, many of us believe that eating differently can help us lose weight, have more energy, manage diseases like diabetes, reduce behavior problems in children, even help to balance hormones. But heal and re-fill areas of decay that have already formed in our teeth? It's crazy, I know.
Our family has had one small experience with this, and below I will share more stories with you. My daughter Abbie had a small-medium sized cavity that the dentist wanted to fill, but as we have no dental insurance, we postponed it for a little while since it wasn't bothering her. I worried that in the interim months (it was about 3-4 months) it would get much worse.
To my complete surprise, when she went back in to have it looked at, the dentist said it was only a pinprick and didn't even need drilling. The main thing that had changed in those months was that we significantly increased our consumption of grass-fed raw milk and butter (and this makes sense if you read Dr. Price's book or any of the literature out there on the dietary changes that will heal decay).
One mom's story of how nutrition healed her daughter's teeth
The story below comes from my dear friend, Renee. As you read it, you'll quickly see how similar we are and you'll understand why we like to call each other to discuss the canning jars we scored at a thrift store, which flavor of cod liver oil is working out best for our kids, and how we just made a really fantastic new batch of homemade deodorant.
So when I asked her to write out this story for the blog, she didn't bat an eyelash because healing cavities is another one of the "weird" things we like to talk about and she was thrilled to share it with you...
After coming home from Africa a year and a half ago, we dutifully began making rounds as a family to doctors and dentists. Missionaries always take any chance in their home country to catch up on needed work while in a familiar setting. We were no exception.
Reese, who had just turned seven, went in for a dental check. Her teeth looked good and felt great, but surprisingly we were told she had eight cavities that needed filling! We were very surprised and suspicious, to say the least. I did not have peace at all about the diagnosis and with support from my husband, I began the journey of researching teeth.
I began by praying a lot, not sure where to start but knowing that I needed to find out why and how cavities were invading her mouth. We moved shortly after the initial check up and x-ray exam and began looking for another dentist in our new area. I didn’t want to ignore the cavities and cause them to get worse, but at the same time I was feeling very strongly that I needed a dentist I could trust. It was taking more time that I realized.
I tried several but came away frustrated at how they pushed antibiotics and root canals for a problem that wasn’t even proven to be there. While I continued to pray for the right dentist to address Reese’s problem, the Lord began to bring things to me.
I had been learning lots about health and natural medicine for just about as long as I had been alive. My mom taught me many things and now as a parent, I couldn’t soak up enough information. I was eager to help my kids have the best health possible. I really believe the Lord was leading me in my study. Books came to my attention that I hadn’t read before.
I became fascinated and ecstatic after reading Weston Price and his ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration', and then Ramiel Nagel's ‘Cure Tooth Decay'. Everything began to come together after I read that book. I had researched and tried raw un-cooking for a time, was a vegetarian for a time, learned about the foods recommended for your blood type, the Makers Diet, the PH Miracle, and again and again it came back to simple things. Stay away from refined foods and sugar, put in plenty of good fats, raw foods and soaked grains.
We finally did find a good holistic dentist but it was about the time I began to come up with a plan to reverse Reese’s tooth decay. I asked my husband to give me 3 months to work intensively with Reese.
We did the best we could. We took away all forms of sweetness, even natural things like honey and fruit. We took out all refined foods and stuck to lots of vegetables and soaked grains. We ate tons of Kerrygold butter and raw cheese. I gave her a double dose of fermented cod liver oil every morning with her raw milk. We also began using clay toothpaste.
She was such a good sport about the whole thing! Of course there were days that weren’t perfect but on the whole we were very diligent.
We finally made an appointment for her at the dentist. They cleaned and x-rayed her teeth and found NO cavities. There is a tooth that had actually started to decay on the back side but got hard again. They were very encouraging and I was completely amazed. I had hoped that at the least one or two would be completely gone, but to have every one healed, I just praised God and stood in awe!
I really believe that God led me to study and healed Reese’s teeth. He is so good and he sees how much we want to care for our children and provide the very best for them. Call out for wisdom; His word promises that He will answer!
Other stories of cavities being healed through dietary changes:
My story about healing my teeth @ The Nourishing Gourmet
How to Save $2600 in Dental Bills- Another Real Food Success Story! @ Kelly the Kitchen Kop
Can a Cavity be Healed? @ Ramblings of a Happy Homemaker
How I Healed my Child's Cavity @ The Healthy Home Economist
How I Remineralized my Tooth Cavities Without Dentistry @ A Real Food Lover
Recommended books and other helpful information:
Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel (This book is the most thorough resource I know of on this topic and I highly recommend it!)
How to Cure Tooth Decay with Rami Nagel @ Cheeseslave (an excellent interview with the author of the above-mentioned book, including an hour-long podcast on the topic)
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston Price
How to Remineralize Teeth Naturally @ Wellness Mama
Green Pasture Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil-- This is the cod liver oil that our family takes. The kids take the chocolate cream variety, and my husband and I take the capsules (well, sometimes I take the cream instead). You can purchase it through Amazon, although the way to get the best prices is to find other friends or family to go in on a large order with you and purchase at least 6 or 12 bottles to get a better discount directly through the Green Pasture website.
Rethinking Oral Health Care: A Homemade Toothpaste Recipe for Tooth Remineralization @ Keeper of the Home.
Or another toothpaste option on this site... Homemade Clay Toothpaste. This is the one our family uses the most often, although while traveling we're using the clay toothpaste that we purchased from Redmond.