The American Dental Association (ADA) explains that tooth decay is a result of sugary and starchy foods that get left on the teeth. Foods like milk, pop, raisins, cakes and candy feed the bacteria in our mouths and create acids that destroy enamel over time.
Because of this modern explanation, the popular “healthy teeth mindset” is that we need to brush and floss often and avoid eating too many sweets. If you still end up with a cavity, then it’s off to the dentist for a filling.
But have you ever wondered if a cavity can heal on its own? And what if there is more behind the true nature of tooth decay?
The Healthy Home Economist brought up a really interesting point in her article, How I Healed My Child’s Cavity.
She said, “Shouldn’t the body be able to heal a cavity just like it heals a broken bone or a cut on your arm? Why would teeth be any different from a broken wrist after all?”
I never thought of it that way before!
Some dentists may tell you there is no way to reverse cavities. But there are others who dug deeper into the cause of tooth decay and would definitely challenge that belief.
You’ve probably heard of Weston Price who lived in the early 1900s and founded the National Dental Association.
He was a famous, well-respected dentist and medical researcher who discovered the relationship between dental health and nutrition.
In his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, he explains why indigenous people, who did not brush or floss, were almost completely free of tooth decay. As soon as the Western diet was introduced, they began seeing tooth decay, bone loss and illness at the same rate as Americans.
What Price discovered, was that our modern food and denatured Western diet lacked the nutrients (bio-available vitamins, good fats and minerals) that our bodies need to ward off dental decay and physical degeneration.
The ADA isn’t wrong about sugar and carbohydrates on your teeth. Processed sugar is definitely a culprit of dental decay, which is why it’s smart to use sweeteners like organic maple syrup and raw, organic honey whenever possible.
But there is more to the story than sugar. Here are three other causes of cavities and things you can do to potentially heal and prevent them.
3 Causes of Tooth Decay – Besides Sugar
Sweet stuff isn’t the only cause of cavities. The research of pioneering dentists and medical doctors like Weston Price, Melvin Page and Edward and May Mellanby give us three other important factors that make a huge difference in dental and overall health.
1. Not Enough Minerals in The Diet
When your body is lacking the vitamins and minerals it needs, it will find ways to warn you. In this case, you could consider a cavity as a symptom of a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
It doesn’t help much that industrialized sugar, flour and milk strip our bodies of these much-needed nutrients, not to mention the potential to disrupt our blood chemistry.
If your calcium and phosphorous levels are out of balance, your body can not function correctly and symptoms will appear. When your ratio is off, your body will start to pull minerals from your bones causing tooth decay and bone loss.
Dr. Melvin Page is a pioneering dental expert who analyzed the blood chemistry of more than 40,000 patients to figure out why their teeth were deteriorating. He discovered that tooth decay can heal with a precise ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the blood.
2. Too Much Phytic Acid (Phytate)
Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that is found in non-fermented grains, unfermented soy and non-sprouted nuts, seeds and beans. It is actually a mineral blocker and enzyme inhibitor.
Dr. Axe says 80% of phosphorus in grains and beans is bound to phytic acid making it completely unabsorbable.
Besides cavities, this can lead to osteoporosis and many other chronic illnesses.
3. Not Enough Fat-Soluble Vitamins (D, A, E & K)
Weston Price proved the connection between fat soluble vitamin D and immunity to certain diseases. Vitamin D is also necessary for our bodies to absorb calcium and phosphorus.
Dr. Mellanby’s conducted trials during the 1920s and 1930s comparing children on a standard diet compared with a diet higher in calcium and vitamin D supplementation (they called it the calcifying diet). Both groups of children continued to eat sugar and had no change in dental hygiene.
As it turned out, those children who supplemented with vitamin D and ate a diet higher in calcium and phosphorus had 93% fewer cavities than the kids on the standard American diet.
On the calcifying diet, children had 2000 I.U. of vitamin D, 17 mg calcium, 19 mg phosphorus and 14 tsp sugar per day. These children got their vitamin D from cod liver oil or other supplements, their calcium and phosphorus from milk and they ate a completely grain-free diet.
We can get a good amount of D3 from organic, grass-fed animal meat, seafood, butter, etc. But our bodies do not make it on their own. That is why many people choose to supplement with vitamin D or cod liver oil, in order to avoid health problems – including tooth decay.
Diets that are low in fat are also typically lower in fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) which are necessary to absorb important minerals.
Research shows our teeth can benefit from a diet including healthy fats from plants like avocado, olives/olive oil, coconut oil, cod liver oil and sprouted nuts and seeds. As well as pastured animal fats from foods like grass-fed butter and meats.
Ramiel Nagel, dental health educator and author of Cure Tooth Decay: Heal And Prevent Cavities With Nutrition, successfully healed his 1-year old daughter’s teeth from decay.
He figured out that our diet is directly related to cavities, and the with right changes we can heal them. Remiel wrote this book as a way to share the information and help people who might be in the same boat.
Remiel was a guest on Extreme Health Radio in 2012 and spoke about how to cure tooth decay and naturally prevent cavities, gum disease and root canals with diet and nutrition.
The episode is just under an hour long, but I highly encourage you to listen to what he has to say when you get an opportunity.
How to Heal & Prevent Cavities Naturally
- Avoid packaged, industrialized foods
- Limit grains
- Avoid synthetic sugar and limit natural sugars
- Eat raw grass-fed dairy & meats, kefir, goat’s milk, gland meats – high in fat soluble vitamins A, D, E & K
- Eat healthy fats from plant sources – avocado, olives/olive oil & coconut oil
- Eat organic vegetables and dark leafy greens
- Supplement with Cod Liver Oil
- Supplement with Vitamin D3
- Eat bone broth or gelatin
- Try oil pulling with Coconut Oil
- Use fluoride-free mineral toothpaste
- Supplement with magnesium – needed for calcium & phosphorus absorption
Watch this quick video summarizing how to heal cavities naturally from Healthy Holistic Living!
Other really great resources on healing cavities naturally