By now, if you’ve been reading this website for more than 5 minutes, you know I’m usually one to try the natural route when it comes to health and healing and my teeth are no exception. The other night, while brushing my teeth, one of my back molars gave me a lot of nerve pain. I think the exact word that went through my head was: “SERIOUSLY?”
I do NOT want to visit a dentist in Argentina (we are here for another few months). Not that I think the dentists in Argentina aren’t great dentists, but I prefer visiting my holistic dentist back home to ensure my visit is as natural and free of chemicals as possible.
One difficult stretch of my cheek and a look in the mirror and there it was, a big brown spot on the outside of my molar up near the gum line. I raced out to my husband for confirmation. His words: “OH YEAH, honey, that’s a cavity!” Then he asked if I wanted to find a dentist in Argentina. When I told him my plan was to heal it naturally he gave me the one eyebrow raise.
I hate the one eyebrow raise from my husband, but it happens from time to time when I announce something totally unconventional, like healing a cavity naturally. You would think he’d be used to it by now since my entire life is unconventional but every now and again I still surprise him.
I like to keep him on his toes.
I said, “If I heal this thing naturally will you start believing in the power of holistic health for dental care?” This would be a big deal since my husband has a mouth full of filled cavities. He said YES and I responded by yelling “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!” while racing off to re-read Cure Tooth Decay.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is another message from our bodies that something is out of balance. Tooth health is kept in check with proper nutrition, not dentistry or fluoride. In fact, fluoride doesn’t make teeth stronger and it actually puts our health at risk. In a recent study published in The Lancet Neurology, fluoride was added to a list of toxic environmental chemicals contributing to neurodevelopmental disabilities such as autism and ADHD. Fluoride joined the list along with mercury and arsenic. This casts a new light on those fluoride treatments offered by your dentist, doesn’t it? Unfortunately in many places around the country water is still fluoridated and any bottled water bought at the store usually contains added fluoride too. Not to mention the fluoride in many children’s toothpaste brands. UGH.
Back to healing my cavity!
If you have poor dental health, or a cavity you are trying to heal, I highly recommend reading the book Cure Tooth Decay. I don’t agree with everything in this book (for instance I wouldn’t recommend consuming raw dairy to heal a cavity) but he does make some good points that I found very useful and list below. I also recommend reading this post from Anthony William, a health expert I discovered after healing my cavity and who I credit with helping me recover from chronic Epstein-barr virus (read about my story here).
According to the author of Cure Tooth Decay, cavities happen for a multitude of reasons including:
- Lack of Fat Soluble Vitamins (mostly vitamins A and D)
- Standard American Diet Full of Processed Foods (SAD)
- Hormone Imbalances
- Lack of Minerals in the Diet
- A Diet High in Phytic Acid (naturally occurring on most grains, nuts and legumes. Phytic acid can be removed by soaking grains, nuts and legumes overnight in water and a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice before consuming them.)
Not all of these reasons apply to me specifically (obviously I’m not eating a SAD diet) so I put some thought into the reasons for my cavity. In my case, I have historically had very good dental health. Then… I had kids. After having children, my dental health began to decline, presumably because both pregnancies were a nutritional drain on my body and I did not take time afterwards to build up my nutrition stores again. Also my hormones could be out of balance. And let’s not forget the stress that comes with raising kids and the fact that I’m easily distracted.
Another reason for the development of my cavity? Our big move to Argentina! A year after my daughter was born we moved abroad and I’ve had a hard time eating the way I’d like because of the lack of healthy choices here, including a lack of saturated fats (of the grass-fed variety) that would provide my teeth with some much-needed nutrition. I’m also guilty of the “mom last” mentality. I give my kids an omega supplement and probiotic but I don’t always take them myself.
And lastly, we have a reverse osmosis filter for our water which along with taking out all the bad stuff, also takes out all the trace minerals too. I give my kids plenty of mineral broth to make up for the lack of minerals in their water, but I don’t always drink it myself.
So after finding my cavity I decided to start caring for myself FIRST!
This is what I’m doing to heal my cavity (I’ve updated this list to reflect suggestions from the Cure Tooth Decay book AND Anthony William’s post):
- Increase omegas by taking one omega-3 supplement daily (I only use vegan sources now and like this one)
- Drink 1-2 cups of mineral broth daily to increase my nutrient stores.
- Remove grains and sugar completely from diet (I don’t eat much of either normally, but now they are eliminated completely).
- Increase my consumption of grass-fed gelatin in soups and drinks.
- Switched to re-mineralizing toothpaste. It tastes like clay (because it is) but I’m doing it anyway. An even better option would be to make my own.
- Liquid mineral before bed.
- Increase supplements for oral health: Hawaiian spirulina, sovereign silver, ester-c and this plant probiotic.
Can I Heal my Cavity Naturally?
I know a lot of people doubt the possibility of healing cavities naturally because it’s been drilled into us (pun intended) that filling cavities with dentistry is the only way to achieve healing but that simply isn’t the case. I have friends who have healed their own cavities (and their children’s cavities!)… I know it can be done. After 2 weeks on this protocol my tooth is no longer sensitive…so that’s promising. Can I heal my cavity naturally? Only time will tell—in 6 weeks I’ll see my holistic dentist and report back.
In the meantime: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!
Update: I visited my dentist when we returned to the states, about a year after finding the brown spot in my tooth. My dentist examined the spot and said it could have been a cavity that arrested. She can’t say for sure because she didn’t examine my tooth when I first presented the symptoms of tooth pain. However, she says there is nothing she would fill and it looks like it’s fine. I don’t have any tooth sensitivity anymore and I’m happy it’s been looked at by my dentist. In fact I didn’t have ANY cavities during my last visit and I intend to keep it that way. Thanks for reading and sharing this post. Dental health really is a reflection of our overall health.
For other great posts about healing cavities naturally check out these articles: