How to Fight Cavities Naturally

How to Fight Cavities and Tooth Decay Naturally

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.

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 studies talk 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 for re-mineralization).

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.

People who consume large amounts of phytic acid in the form of grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes may 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?

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.

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 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 your teeth

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.

Healthy and Natural World