How to Fight Cavities and Tooth Decay Naturally

How to Fight Cavities and Tooth Decay Naturally
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It is important that we visit the dentist at least once a year for check-ups. However, something as simple and inexpensive as changing our diet, could change the state of our oral health, naturally and may even help us to fight tooth decay and even naturally heal cavities.

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What is tooth decay?

Teeth are made up of four layers. Enamel is the hard, protective, mineralized shell. Below that is dentin, a bone like substance which provides another protective mineralized layer. Underneath that, the tooth has a soft center called a pulp, which contains all the blood vessels and nerve endings. This is covered with cementum, another mineralized tissue.

When the diet is not adequate, acid in your mouth dissolves the outer layers of your teeth, and tooth decay sets in.

Symptoms of tooth decay

* Tooth ache
* Pain when eating or drinking
* Sensitivity to cold or hot food
* Visible discolored spots on teeth

How to naturally fight tooth decay and cavities

I would forgive you for laughing out loud at the above statement. Many dentists think the idea is ludicrous and insist that the only way to heal cavities is through dental intervention.

However, studies from holistic dentists and the research of Dr. Weston A Price, showed that diet has an incredible impact on oral health, even more so than brushing, would you believe it? Well right now, you probably don’t, but in this article I will provide you with evidence that will convince you. I didn’t know myself that teeth can re-mineralize, but looking at webMD website, this a natural process by which minerals are redeposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids. Also Livestrong website talks about re-mineralization toothpastes that can bind to the tooth surface to aid in re-mineralization of the enamel, decreasing the risk of cavity formation (you can find in my previous article how to use eggshells to heal your cavities).

Do you brush at least twice a day, floss and reduce your intake of sugar? (But still enjoy a cheeky piece of chocolate now and then, me too 😉

If the answer to the above is a yes and yet you still get cavities, then you may be missing a few tricks.

Dr Weston A. Price, traveled the world in order to study isolated populations and their native diets. He was astounded to discover that many native people whose diet was devoid of modern food, ubiquitous in western countries, had nearly perfect dental structure and very little tooth decay.

The doctor reached the conclusion that our oral health is largely determined by diet, especially by these main factors:

* The presence of enough minerals in the diet.
* The presence of enough fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) in the diet.
* How bio-available these nutrients are and how well the body is absorbing them. It was found that this is largely influenced by the presence of Phytic Acid in the diet.

What is Phytic acid?

Phytic acid is a form of phosphorus that is not easily absorbed by humans. Phytic acid actually binds to essential nutrients in your digestive tract. This binding stops you from being able to absorb essential nutrients.

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People who consume large amounts of phytic acid in the form of grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes have higher rates of tooth decay, mineral deficiencies and osteoporosis. However, the western diet is high in grains, sugars, and vegetable oils, and low in fat soluble vitamins, which are beneficial for optimal bone health and the prevention of tooth decay.

But there’s no need to panic if I’ve just summed up your diet. Your body is capable of healing itself. Through a process called remineralization, specialized cells in the center of the tooth are able to regenerate dentin, the layer of tooth just under the enamel, and the enamel can then properly remineralize from the outside.

You can encourage this process by reducing the amount of phytic acid from your diet. Now you’re probably thinking: “How can I remove phytic acid from my diet entirely, when it is found in so many foods?” And you’re bang on. It would be very difficult to eliminate all foods containing phytic acid. So the advisable thing to do is to reduce the consumption of foods that contain the highest amounts.

Food sources with the highest percentage of phytic acid are almonds, beans, Brazil nuts, brown rice, chick peas, coconut, corn, hazelnuts and lentils. Don’t cut them completely from your menu, as they still have many other health benefits, but eat them in moderation. Everyone who eats plants consumes some phytic acid. It’s all a question of degree.

What foods to avoid

Sugar – I’m sorry, if you are like me, you have a big old sweet tooth. I can’t pass up a cookie. But my mouth would thank me a lot more if I did.

Sugar comes in many forms, for example, sucrose, fructose, maltose and glucose. All of which are damaging to your teeth. Oh and when it says: ‘No added sugar’ on a label, don’t be fooled. That does not necessarily mean it is sugar free. It just means that no sugar has been added during its production. The naturally occurring sugars are still in the product. It may contain one of the sugars listed above or be listed as ‘carbohydrates.’ Cheeky eh?

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To help prevent tooth decay, try to cut out products containing refined sugars and don’t exaggerate with natural sugars as well, like honey.

But why is sugar so terrible for your teeth?

The bacteria in your mouth like to feed on sugar, which excrete acids that eat away at your tooth enamel, and start the decaying process. However, if you really fancy something sweet, choose a fruit instead. Although fruits also contain sugar, it was found that eating fruit as part of a balanced diet is fine.

The best foods for your teeth

Vegetables – Vegetables are rich in fiber, which keeps saliva flowing and create mineral defenses against tooth decay.

Calcium – Your teeth and jaws are mostly made up of calcium. Without it, you are at risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. So if you don’t consume enough calcium, then do so! Calcium can be found in lots of food and drinks such as milk, yogurt and cheese. But don’t worry if you are lactose intolerant or following a dairy-free diet. Vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli are also very high in calcium, as well as boasting other vital nutrients that are great for you. Read here more about better sources of calcium than dairy products.

Magnesium – Helps in creating alkaline environment in the blood, is essential for creating vitamin D and required for the metabolism of calcium. Can be found in green leaves, seeds, almonds, beans, fish, avocado and banana.

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Grass-fed meats – Meat helps teeth remineralize from eating acidic food, such as fruit. Red meat, chicken, fish and seafood is also rich in vitamin B12 and B2. Furthermore, people who do not consume enough of these vitamins are more prone to mouth sores.

Healthy Fat – Healthy fat (such as omega-3) is good for you!…In moderation, of course.

Coconut oil – Its anti-bacterial nature will help to get rid of harmful bacteria in your mouth (it is often used in oil pulling technique).

Organic butter – Many people prefer to use low fat margarine as an alternative to butter as they believe it is less fattening and better for your health. However, eating pastured, cultured butter in moderation will not make you fat. It is completely natural, unlike margarine and other low-fat spreads which are highly processed. Furthermore, butter is rich in calcium, which as you know, helps prevent tooth decay.

Homemade broth (Chicken or Beef) – It has a lot of benefits due to its rich mineral content.

Supplements to heal cavities and improve oral health

Fermented cod liver oil One of the main supplements recommended by Doctor Weston A Price. Furthermore, Raimen A Nigel, the author of the successful book, Cure Tooth Decay, recommends it and says that Green Pastures makes the highest quality fat soluble vitamin food based supplements.

Vitamin D – The sun provides a great source of vitamin D, but I’m not asking you to smile up at the sun every day. That’s entirely up to you.  You can simply eat foods that are rich in Vitamin D, such as, oily fish (salmon, sardines and mackerel), eggs and milk. You can also buy over-the-counter vitamin D supplements after consulting with your doctor. Read here more about 12 common diseases caused by vitamin D deficiency.

Rinse away your tooth decay

One thing you can do today to improve your oral hygiene and whiten your teeth, is begin rinsing with 1.5%-3% hydrogen peroxide, three times per week for thirty seconds before brushing. H2O2 is pretty much water with an extra oxygen molecule. It is a natural oxidizer which kills mouth bacteria and helps you to whiten your teeth. This cleans your mouth and freshens your breath. Or make your own tooth paste: combine ¼ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with ½ cup baking soda and store in a darkened container. Use as normal tooth paste. Make sure to not swallow any peroxide. After the rinse, make sure to rinse out your mouth with water. Read here more about 11 great uses of hydrogen peroxide.

You can also do oil pulling technique. Oil pulling is mentioned in the Ayurvedic medicine. The basic idea is that oil is swished in the mouth each day and this action helps improve oral health and whiten the teeth. You need to swish a couple teaspoons of a vegetable based oil (like coconut oil) in the mouth for about 20 minutes and then spit it out and rinses well. Oil pulling is usually recommended to be done first thing in the morning before eating or drinking, and after it you brush your teeth in the normal morning routine. Read more about this technique in my article how to use oil pulling for oral health.

To complete your oral health and enjoy healthy teeth and gums, read my article how to treat gum infection (gingivitis) naturally:

How to Treat Gum Infection (Gingivitis) Naturally 

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42 Responses to How to Fight Cavities and Tooth Decay Naturally

  1. bussile says:

    Thanx for the infor;how does one get your herbal books?

    • Jenny says:

      When you enter to my home page http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com, you will see on the right hand side (or at the bottom in some mobile devices) images of my e-books. When you click on the image, it will open for you a page with all the information. Just to emphasize, these are e-books and don’t come as hard copies.

      • Linda says:

        Jenny I went to order your books today but it only offered ebook. I know you said it would be too expensive to publish a hard copy, but I think you’d be surprised @ how many people would pay extra for a hard copy (myself included). I believe whole heartedly in vitamins/herbs & natural nutrition & would love the books.

    • rod says:

      after 5 and 10 yrs of dental self maintenance i visit my dentist for dental check up and told that i had it so clean and zero cavity. it so simple & proven by my own and other friends. just a pinch of salt plus 3 to 5 drops of any kind of vinegar in a glass of water. if you have a cavity remove it by dentist then proceed for the routine maintenance. gargle it twice a day first thing in the morning & before bedtime, and you will surely amaze the smell of your breath too. and if you are tired to do so just make it once a day or 2-3 times a week as maintenance. hint for gargling the throat side, tilt your head up while gargling and just bow to spit it out.

  2. Melanie says:

    Thank you, LOVE the information you share, please, keep sharing & learning & sharing & learning 🙂

  3. Sylvia says:

    Love all your recommendations and help …..

  4. Barbara says:

    The article mentions coconut as being high in phytic acid which is bad for teeth and then says eating coconut oil or using for oi pulling is good for teeth. Does this mean that coconut oil rather than coconut flesh is low in phytic acid?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Barbara, there is a difference between eating coconut (or other foods that contain phytic acid) and swishing the coconut oil in your mouth without consuming it. When eating coconut or foods with phytic acid, The phytic acid binds to essential nutrients in your digestive tract, and this binding stops you from being able to absorb essential nutrients. This mineral deficiencies harm bone health and can cause tooth decay or osteoporosis if consumed in large quantities. This is an internal process in the body. However when swishing coconut oil in your mouth (without swallowing it), the phytic acid does not have the harmful effect in the digestive tract. Hence you can enjoy the anti bacterial benefits of coconut oils for oral health.

      • Jacinda says:

        I can understand what you’re saying to some degree, but the info you have listed for coconut oil {ie Coconut oil – It is a wonderful source of healthy fats and nutrients (look for the unrefined, virgin, organic kind). Its anti-bacterial nature will help to get rid of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Read here more about the amazing health benefits of coconut oil.} is telling us how healthy it is and a great source of nutrients… so which is it? Or is it both? Avoid ingesting when trying to remineralize teeth & then add it back to the diet? Or?

        • Jenny says:

          Hi Jacinda, I was asked this question already by Barbara – see my reply to her – I think it will answer your question.

  5. jennifer says:

    what is fermented cod liver oil,where do you get it,is it differant to cod liver oil found in capsules,

    • Jenny says:

      Fermented cod liver oil is made by the traditional method of fermenting the cod livers, and no heat is used, whereas unfermented fish liver oils are extracted using heat. You probably know the benefits of raw foods and fermentation — so it seems obvious that fermented cod liver oil would be much more nutritious and more bioavailable to our body. You can buy it in health stores or online, just make sure it says that it’s fermented.

  6. nona says:

    oil pulling very effective for your teeth!!!

  7. Athat Ly says:

    I have tried and tested just oil pulling with virgin coconut oil for a whole month, and that was all i needed for a healthy set of teeth, gums and mouth!! I also noticed my cavaties filling themselves up naturally!! 🙂

    • kk says:

      I’ve been trying the coconut oil pulling for some time and don’t see any results(teeth are whiter, but still have cavities). However, I did not buy virgin coconut oil. Could this be why?(or at least the major factor).

  8. Rosie Morse says:

    Thankyou for all natural therapies. My body is saturated with chemicals discovered in kinesiology. This will be my favourite site.!

  9. Brenda says:

    Hi Jenny, I heard that if you have metal fillings in your mouth that it’s not good to do oil pulling, especially with coconut oil? I think the reason was that it actually puts more toxins into your body, do you know anything about this? Thanks.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Brenda, I’ve heard that too, however there are different opinions about it and some suggest there is no harm. I suggest that you check it with your dentist.

  10. Nikki says:

    Hi, do you know of an different oil that is effective for healing and oil pulling? I am highly allergic to coconut. Thank you for any reply 🙂

  11. Socheat says:

    Thank you so much! it a good information I like it.

  12. azhar ali says:

    thanks for these information its good

  13. Denise says:

    Hi Jenny I read somewhere that the concerns over oil pulling and dental work is that it loosens dental work. It didn’t mentions having more toxicity as a reason. Also the difference between eating coconut oil and using it for oil pulling purposes is that eating it in appropriate amounts is healthy, but swallowing it after you have swished it through your teeth is not good because you are trying yo rinse out bacteria that has been loosened …you don’t want to be introducing that to your gut.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Denise, as for using oil pulling when you have fillings – I’ve heard that concerns too, however there are different opinions about it and some suggest there is no harm. Best to check it with your dentist first. Eating coconut oil in moderation is fine but after oil pulling the oil must not be swallowed as you’ve said. you can get more information about oil pulling in my previous article – http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/oil-pulling-for-oral-health/

  14. Amelia Dira says:

    I LIKE and LOVE all your INPUTS jenny. You give us all such GREAT PRACTICAL. HOLISTIC. KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM. THANK YOU SO MUCH IHA .
    GOD BLESS YOU EVERY NOW !!
    Continue your very good work!!!

  15. Tanveer says:

    Hi jenny;
    My teeth are susceptible to decay. I hv done GI filling in 3 teeth n still I develop cavities after proper oral care .plz suggest some remedy… thank$

  16. Utch Moet says:

    Jenny,from the depth of my heart I a big thank,for all info

  17. ilona says:

    there some way to reduce phytic acid in grains and seeds?

  18. Maijama'a says:

    I’VE BEEN SUFFERING FROM TOOTHACHE FOR OVER EIGHT YEARS I CAN NOT EVEN EAT WITH THE ACHEING PART AND IT MAKES MY TEETH BROWN WHAT CAN I DO?

  19. Amanda says:

    Does oil pulling only work for small cavities or can it heal larger cavities? I’d imagine it would take longer but it is still possible to heal larger/deeper cavities?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Amanda, I’m not sure about the effect of oil pulling specifically on cavities. I know it is used for improving oral health, such as brightening teeth, treating harmful bacteria, bleeding gums and gingivitis but I’m not sure specifically what about cavities. Some people claim it helped them in this aspect as well. Perhaps you would like have a look at my article about natural re-mineralization toothpaste (see here), but for larger cavities I would go to a dentist.

  20. Do you have an article or resources for treating or growing back receding gums? Many thanks!

    • Jenny says:

      Chronic gingivitis (gum infection) can lead to periodontitis, which is more severe gingivitis that can lead to teeth loss and receding gums. I have an article about treating gingivitis (see here), but if your condition is more severe, it requires a professional dental treatment.

  21. Vicky Delgado says:

    Hi, Jenny. Thank you for this clear, complete and knowledgeable article. Regarding your suggestion to rinse with Hydrogen Peroxide, what adjustments would you make if I use “3% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide” for my 2-year old daughter with incipient cavities? I don’t want to have her rinse with hydrogen peroxide, much less non-food grade, because she might unintentionally swallow. Thanks for any advice.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Vicky, I am not a dentist but from what I’ve read, when the decay is on the enamel only (and not on the dentin) it is called incipient decay. The incipient decay came from inadequate cleaning of the affected areas at home. The dentist will watch these areas and will give you some specific instructions on how to enhance home care to reverse these areas of early tooth decay, for example, proper brushing, flossing, diet etc. I believe that if you monitor and help your daughter to brush properly her teeth, floss between the teeth and limit sweets consumption and acidic drinks such as soft drinks, it will surely help. I also have an article about how to make eggshell toothpaste to remineralize teeth – see HERE – you can have a look and see if it’s something you want to try for your daughter. This of course cannot replace any advice from a professional dentist, and I believe it will be a good idea to get more instructions from a dentist.

      • Vicky says:

        Thank you, Jenny! I have taken my daughter twice to see a very good biological dentist and his also very good hygienist. The first time they saw my daughter, they used the term “incipient cavities”. The second time, about 8 months later, they didn’t mention the word “incipient”, but they did say we needed to increase our efforts in trying to heal her teeth naturally so that we can avoid sedating her (for them to be able to work on her).
        Currently, I’m now supposed to use something called MI Paste to remineralize her teeth; it is not natural, but it works, according to them. However, after reading some comments on the internet I decided to look and see if I can find something else that could also do the job. I read your article as well as someone in a fb group who said they used hydrogen peroxide to cure cavities, but because it seems to be somehow unknown yet, I’m not sure how safe it would be for my daughter. I do follow these recommendations you mentioned (proper brushing, flossing, diet etc.). I will definitely ask our dentist about hydrogen peroxide, but I’d like to know what knowledgeable people like you are saying as well. Thanks again!

        • Jenny Hills says:

          Thank you Vicky for your kind words. I have to be very careful when I provide advice for a specific cases as I’m not a doctor or a certified health professional and I don’t want to do more harm than good.

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