Have any of your kids needed to have braces?
Has your child under 6 had signs of tooth decay?
Ever wish you could reverse those things?
If you are like me, you were raised with the notion (likely told by your dentist) that sugar and bad genes cause tooth decay and that if you were getting tooth decay as a child, you needed to cut back on sugar. You likely also believe that genetics determine tooth spacing and that your genetics might have doomed you to braces…
I believed all that stuff too… but as it turns out, there is more to the story!
What Really Causes Tooth Decay?
There is a lot of evidence showing that diet had a tremendous impact on oral health (even more so than brushing in some cases) and that there had even been cases of cavities reversing.
As I thought about this, it made sense…
Why would bones and other tissue be able to heal and regenerate, but not teeth?
How did other populations throughout the world have great oral health, no cavities and no need for braces when they didn’t even have access to modern dentistry?
As Dr. Weston A. Price (a dentist) found and detailed in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, there were cultures throughout the world who had perfect teeth despite no access to dentists or modern toothpaste, while similar cultures with different diets had very high rates of tooth decay.
He found examples of cultures with similar genetic backgrounds with some living in primitive type societies and eating primitive type diets and others who ate a modernized diet. He found that many primitive cultures were able to completely avoid tooth decay and the many oral health problems we struggle with today.
The image on the left shows a stark example of this: the woman in the top right ate a primitive, whole-food, high-fat diet while the other women ate more modernized diet that contained grains and agricultural foods.
Price hypothesized that several dietary factors contributed to this difference in oral health.
Sir (Dr.) Edward Mellanby (he discovered Vitamin D) and his lovely wife Dr. May Mellanby were also influential in discovering the roles of nutrients in oral health. These two contributed much research in the areas of bone and tooth health and mineral absorption.
In fact, it was Edward who discovered that Vitamin D deficiency caused rickets. They also discovered that tooth structure is determined during a child’s growth, and that poorly formed teeth are more likely to decay (pretty logical).