Cure tooth decay naturally
I am a complete tooth decay nerd.
6 years ago I was told I’d need a wisdom tooth out because the hole was so big she couldn’t drill it without hitting the nerve.
I’d spent the last 35 years being told off by dentists in that terror-inducing newsreader voice of disapproval they so often have, & after my 6 consecutive years of either being pregnant or breastfeeding, my tooth health was at an all time low.
I’d had an absolute gutsful & decided to heal them naturally.
6 months later I returned to the dentist.
The hole was apparently just a mark, & 6 years on I’ve had no more trouble with any teeth whatsoever.
I told my dentist what I’d done. I was so excited that she’d be able to pass the information on to other people in my position & spare them the cost, pain, hassle & sometimes trauma associated with dental work… but she rolled her eyes & said ‘I don’t think so.’
I lost the plot. 35 years worth of repressed dental related rage came pouring out at this poor woman, I left & never went back. We smile awkwardly at each other now if our paths cross in the supermarket.
There’s no doubt a lot that I don’t know, but my understanding of tooth health is that it comes down to:
*Blood sugar balance – because this controls calcium placement.
*Avoiding anti-nutrients found in plant-based foods – because they bind to calcium & other minerals, preventing us from absorbing them.
*Gut health – so nutrients are absorbed properly.
*Predisposition – this is why some people can eat a load of crap & get away with it & some people can’t. It’s not fair, but they’ll have a predisposition to something else. It’s just the way it goes.
*Remineralising teeth after eating.
So if your blood sugar is out of whack, calcium won’t be going to where it’s needed properly. This was my problem. I used omega 3 oils, various other supplements (see below) & ate more protein… not loads, but if you’re always on a sugar/ caffeine roller coaster, what your body’s really asking for is energy – so if you can grab something with protein in before reaching for carbs, sugar or coffee etc, you can often then have less of what you think you need.
I promised myself if I still wanted chocolate after the protein, I’d have it – but I rarely did. Eating sweet things after a meal rather than having it for a snack keeps your blood sugar more stable, and if you can have some protein for breakfast around 8am or before, that can really level you out for the day.
Using low GI foods in general is a healthy way to eat, helps to keep blood sugar stable (which influences many other body functions), regulates energy & helps massively with weight control. I used it to lose the 4 stone I put on in my last pregnancy.
Iodine in my opinion is also really important. I take it, but it’s so controversial (no doubt due to how beneficial it is for the pineal gland & thyroid), that I have to be careful advising it to others.
Antinutrients like phytic acid have become the thing I could bore people with for hours. It frustrates me hugely that we’re not told about these things, especially at a time when plant-based foods are so popular.
My son suddenly had a horrendous bout of tooth decay a few years ago. He had 3 painful molars & bits were breaking off his teeth every other day. His teeth had been great until then, so I worked out that the only thing I’d changed in his diet was making almond milk with whole almonds instead of blanched. He had a fair bit of it & I didn’t know at the time that almonds are one of the most potent sources of phytic acid.
Phytic acid is only found in the skin/husk of plant foods like nuts, seeds, pulses & grains (not vegetables) & is there to protect the plant, but unless neutralised by fermentation, or by avoiding the husk/skin, it binds to minerals calcium, magnesium, iron & zinc, & takes them from our bodies so we can’t absorb them. Calcium shortage is at least pretty easy to spot, but zinc & magnesium affect everything, so shortages are a lot harder to notice.
I swapped back to blanched almonds& within 3 days my son’s pain was gone. 2 weeks later I got cocky & thought I’d use up the whole almonds – the pain came back, then went again when I stopped them.
Since then, his decay halted & he’s had no further problems.
The best way to avoid phytic acid is to go easy on whole nuts, seeds & flours made from seeds, & eating too many wholegrains. Soaking& sprouting pulses also helps (not so much with nuts& seeds, though it’s still a good idea for digestion), & fermenting grains e.g. sourdough bread, destroys almost all of it.
This is how I got obsessed with fermenting, plus I love the process& the tastes.
A rye sourdough starter is useful to have. I soak anything that can be soaked, & put a dollop of the starter in for a few hours/ overnight. It also really helps with digestion, so e.g. with oats, you don’t get that heavy feeling in your stomach after eating it.
Vitamins-wise, most of us get enough calcium in our diets, it just doesn’t automatically go where it’s meant to. That’s why someone with osteoporosis can test fine for calcium; it’s in their body, just not in the bones.
Magnesium is essential to push calcium into the teeth& bones, as is D3 and K2. (Contrary to popular belief, drizzly Britain doesn’t always give us enough D3).
Magnesium is a good supplement to take anyway as the soil is so depleted these days. I can’t give too much information on supplements as levels would be different for different people, but it’s worth looking into as it can make a huge difference. For meat eaters, bone broth is incredible & is amazing for skin elasticity too.
For general gut health (to be able to absorb nutrients properly), fermenting is great; the raw foods/ drinks like sauerkraut & kefir/ kombucha etc contain loads of probiotics (good bacteria) which our guts need in order to crowd-out the bad. They also multiply nutrients & enzymes (enzymes help us break down food).
Soaked, sprouted or cooked fermented foods like sourdough or tempeh etc get partially digested during the fermentation process, so are a lot easier on the body & generally have a much lower GI content, giving us much less of a sugar spike, so are great for weight control & balanced energy.
A huge part of our nervous system & immune system is in the gut, so it’s worth looking after. It’s also the first place to get damaged by radiation. Many people with autoimmune disease have seen great results from healing their guts. A good start can be cutting out all grains and using minimal fats for at least 2 weeks, but even just taking out gluten for a while can make a big difference.
I think vegan diets can be a real pitfall for tooth decay, because protein & therefore blood sugar & calcium placement can be an issue. If it’s not an issue, it’s often sourced from nuts& seeds etc, which are high in phytic acid, & often there’s a dependency on grains, which if not fermented can be not so great for gut (& general) health.
On top of that, the fat-soluble nutrients like D3 & K2 are generally found in animal foods. I’m not biased either way, I just think vegan diets need careful planning.
Other things that can help in general with tooth health are:
*Oil pulling (swishing melted coconut oil around your mouth for 20 mins then spitting out).
*Using a waterflosser (they blast warm water onto your gum line – amazing for bleeding or receding gums)
*A drop of iodine on your toothbrush a few times a week before brushing
*Same with oregano oil (though use diluted, as it burns)
*Bentonite clay (amazing stuff with loads of uses – make a paste with a bit of water& put on a decaying tooth overnight; this helps remineralise the tooth)
*Swishing with mouthwash after eating/ drinking (because teeth temporarily demineralise after eating & the mouth becomes acidic; an alkalising mouthwash quickly neutralises the acid. See my recipes for a homemade one.
*Homeopathic tissue salts – ‘Helios’ can advise on these.
*Homeopathy works miracles for abcesses – we’ve saved a few teeth with this over the years. See a professional though.
*Frankincense oil & plantain are also used but I haven’t used them myself so can’t vouch for them.
I healed our teeth at the same time I stopped using fluoride. It’s an absolute myth that it’s necessary for tooth health & therefore perhaps worth asking why it’s so prevalent.
I also ate honey & maple syrup throughout.
Personally I still take my family for dental check-ups, but we go to a holistic dentist now, & thankfully the days of dental dread & arguments over flouride pushing are long gone.