The dental health community gives very little thought to the role nutrition plays with tooth decay. The theory dentists’ currently work with is the bacteria that feed on bits of food stuck in our teeth produce acids that erode our enamel. The only way to fight this is by brushing, flossing, and using antiseptic mouthwashes to kill bacteria.1 Most of us have bought into this theory. As a result, those of us who suffer with tooth decay feel deflated. We think our teeth will continue to degrade, and besides good hygiene, there is nothing we can do to prevent our teeth from rotting away.
There is hope though in the form of good nutrition. We can take our oral health into our own hands, and not only improve our dental health, but possibly reverse the effects of tooth decay and restore strength to our teeth. After all, teeth are bones, and it’s common knowledge that nutrition plays an important role in bone health, why not dental health? Below are 5 simple dietary changes, utilizing real foods, which have been shown to improve your nutrition and dental health.1
5 Nutritional Changes To Improve Tooth Decay
1. Consume foods high in the fat-soluble vitamins A, D3, and K21
These fat-soluble vitamins have been shown to work synergistically together to improve dental health. These vitamins are mainly found in animal meats and fats, specifically from well-raised animals provided with a diet of rapidly growing grass and allowed to roam free munching in pastures. The synthetic forms of these vitamins are of lower quality and will not provide best results.
Consume foods high in vitamins A, D3, and K2
- Whole raw dairy products, egg yolks, and fresh or desiccated liver all have high amounts of vitamin A
- Fatty fish/seafood, pig lard from well raised pigs free to range in the sun filled pastures, and eggs all contain high amounts of vitamin D3
- Egg yolks, butter, ghee, hard and soft cheeses, and liver all contain high amounts of vitamin A
2. Consume foods high in minerals
Just like minerals are important for bone health, they are essential to dental health.
One of the best sources of bone building minerals is bone broth. Broths can be drank; used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces; or used as the cooking liquid for grains and beans
If raw and cultured whole dairy products are tolerated, consume them liberally; if not, consume bone broth at every meal
Consume fish/shellfish 1-2 times weekly, or try seaweed as a replacement
Use unrefined sea salt rather than refined table salt
Consume plenty of organic greens and other vegetables ensuring some are cooked and served with butter or ghee
If dental health is relatively good use unrefined sweeteners in moderation (like honey and maple syrup)
If dental health is poor, avoid all sweeteners, sugars, and fruit
Most grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes contain phytic acid, which has been shown to block mineral uptake.1 Breaking down the phytic acid in these foods requires you to either soak, ferment, or sprout them before consuming.
The easiest way to make this dietary change is to switch to sourdough bread
For severe tooth decay cases, temporarily eliminate these foods from the diet
4. Consume fermented foods
Studies show that including probiotics in the diet will reduce inflammation, bleeding in the gums, and keep plaque from damaging gum tissue. Probiotics have also been shown to eliminate bad breath.
Fermented foods include fermented vegetables like kimchi, traditional sauerkraut, and traditional pickles; as well as fermented dairy products like cultured yogurt and kefir
It doesn’t take much to ferment foods yourself, the book “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon is a great guide for fermenting
5. Regain balance through positive energy
R. Nagel makes a very valid point in his book “Cure Tooth Decay”. He reminds us that we should not discount the spiritual component of regaining dental health. He says, “It is important to take responsibility for our health and embrace this process. Open up to life itself; reach out and grow. Look within, trust yourself, and act out of the involuntary consciousness that instructs and guides us.”
1. Blair, Laurel. “Nutritional Remedies for Tooth Decay and Bone Health”. Well Being Journal 23, no. 2 (2014) : 10-19
2. Eur J Clin Nutr, 2011 March 30.
3. Nagel, Ramiel. “Cure Tooth Decay: Heal And Prevent Cavities With Nutrition.” Golden Child Publishing, 2010.