How to cure cavities on a vegan diet

How to cure cavities on a vegan diet

Can vegans cure cavities and gum disease holistically?

Vegans looking for holistic teeth healing solutions want to know how to cure cavities without compromising their commitment to a plant based diet.

Whether you are strictly vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free or just minimizing meat, there are a suite of holistic strategies that you can use to cure and prevent cavities. ‘

In this article, I’ll use ‘vegan’ but the information really applies to anyone.

In this video, I use the game of Jenga to demonstrate how different influences in your unique situation give you more, or less, resilient teeth, and what you can do to make your teeth stronger to help cure cavities.

WHY your teeth give you trouble.

What causes cavities?

There are lots of reasons why some people’s teeth stay strong and healthy no matter what they eat, or don’t eat, yet others (like me) have teeth that are prone to decay, no matter how hard we try to take care of them well.

Vulnerability and resilience to cavities

The health of your teeth and gums is influenced by earlier generations’ health, diet, stress and events.

Any stressful experiences in your own life experience as a baby, child, adolescent and adult accumulate their affect on your teeth as you get older.

The particular nutrients you’ve consumed or not consumed at different points in your life, from the moment of conception until today, play a role.

Environmental influences on cavities

Pregnancy and motherhood, especially long periods of breastfeeding more than one child can really deplete your teeth’s resilience.

Environmental toxins including fluoridated water, GM foods and exposure to pesticide and toxins in your own body including old dental work may influence the current and future health of your teeth.

All or any of the following factors (and more) can also influence whether your teeth are able to stay strong on a plant-based diet:

  • illness
  • medications
  • recreational drugs (including tobacco and alcohol)
  • lip or tongue piercings
  • long-periods of travel or even short periods of homelessness
  • relationship break-ups
  • job losses
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • loneliness

How to cure cavities on a vegan diet

It is possible to heal your teeth holistically without compromising your commitment to a plant-based diet.

Precisely because there are so many potential factors influencing your vulnerability to decay, there are also many potential ways in increase the strength of your teeth and gums.

The more demands placed by your current lifestyle is on your teeth (e.g. motherhood), the more important a multi-faceted approach becomes.

 Vegan diet hacks that can help to cure cavities

  • Minimize phytic acid from grains, beans, nuts and seeds
  • Eliminate sugars including dried fruit and juice
  • Eat lots of organic, fresh vegetables
  • Add minerals from sea vegetables, supplements and/or cell salts
  • Add Vitamin K2 from fermented foods especially natto
  • Add high quality, cold-pressed fats
  • Use herbs such as black walnut
  • Drink spring water
  • Use a good sea salt or Himalayan salt

Other holistic strategies to help cure cavities

Vegans who are vulnerable to cavities due to accumulated influences not only need to ensure you are getting the best possible teeth healing nutrients through your diet, you also need to to incorporate additional holistic strategies.

  • Do relax the jaw
  • Do guided meditations for teeth healing
  • Don’t sleep with your cell phone
  • Don’t use drugs or medications that inhibit your mineral uptake
  • Do investigate meridian connections between cavities and the rest of your body
  • Don’t get a tongue or lip piercing
  • Don’t use alcohol based mouthwash
  • Do research before getting dental work
  • Do use your intuition to ask your body for guidance on how to get rid of cavities
  • Do be consistent with the best oral self-care routine for you

 

How I quit sugar without effort, withdrawals or cravings

How I quit sugar without effort, withdrawals or cravings

I stopped eating sugar (fructose) 3.5 years ago, without effort, withdrawals or regret.

Before that I was a famous baker of delicious cakes and cookies because I practiced often (and ate my own baking). I was greedy with chocolate. I snacked on dried fruit and guzzled fruit juices. I ate candy, even when it hurt.

My diet was otherwise reasonably healthy. I rarely ate processed foods or takeaway meals. After a few years of strict vegetarianism in my 30s had sapped my will to live, I regularly ate a little high quality meat. I cooked nutritious meals from fresh vegetables every day.

But even with my decades of dental problems I couldn’t stop myself from eating sugar. I attempted a few programs for giving up sugar but nothing stuck through the misery of feeling deprived.

My sugar addiction was long and deep. Sweets could soothe everything from a broken heart to a stomachache (or so it seemed) so I rationalized that I needed sugar to feel healthy and well. I certainly seemed to need it to get through my afternoon slump.

How did I quit sugar? Hint: First I healed my teeth

Six years ago, when on the verge of another root canal I discovered Cure Tooth Decay, I cherry-picked the easiest elements from Nagel’s protocol and continued to eat sweets.

I was able to dramatically turn around my dental health within days just by adding in some missing nutrients to my diet. I started eating more meat, including liver, and taking cod liver oil supplements. I started the habit of breakfasting on a raw milk, raw egg smoothie every day.  I loved eating more butter, cheese and cream.

I was still eating sugar but my teeth stopped hurting, my stomachaches disappeared, my hair grew glossy and my nails strong. I felt happier, more confident and more energetic. Sure, I gained a few kilos, but life was good.

Then after a couple of years I just woke up one day and decided I didn’t want to eat sugar any more. So I didn’t.

Quitting sugar this time didn’t feel like a big deal. I didn’t do any research. I didn’t join a program, clear my cupboards, or make a big announcement.  I just stopped eating sugar, without self-discipline or drama.  It was weeks before I cleared out the sugary foods gathering dust in my kitchen.

The culmination of a long game

My success at quitting sugar and staying sugar-free for the last few years* was the culmination of a long game. My primary health goal for the past six years has been to heal my teeth. I stopped trying to lose weight or comply with other health dictates.

In healing my teeth I had nourished myself so thoroughly for so long with high quality protein and fats that, when I was ready to let go of my emotional and social attachment to sweets, I didn’t have to contend with chemical cravings.

My teeth were already strong and resilient by then but when I ditched sugar they became even less sensitive and started to look whiter too. Over the following year, gradually, without me making any effort or really even noticing, I lost all the weight I had gained.

Not everyone can heal their teeth while still eating sugar. Everybody’s body is different, but my experience suggests that it is possible for some of us to succeed just by adding better nutrients without subtracting anything. I have summarized the essential foods I eat, and my cherry-picking approach to the teeth healing diet in a short e-book called Feed Your Teeth. You can download it for free.

 

The culmination of a long game

My success at quitting sugar and staying sugar-free for the last few years* was the culmination of a long game. My primary health goal for the past six years has been to heal my teeth. I stopped trying to lose weight or comply with other health dictates.

In healing my teeth I had nourished myself so thoroughly for so long with high quality protein and fats that, when I was ready to let go of my emotional and social attachment to sweets, I didn’t have to contend with chemical cravings.

My teeth were already strong and resilient by then but when I ditched sugar they became even less sensitive and started to look whiter too. Over the following year, gradually, without me making any effort or really even noticing, I lost all the weight I had gained.

Not everyone can heal their teeth while still eating sugar. Everybody’s body is different, but my experience suggests that it is possible for some of us to succeed just by adding better nutrients without subtracting anything. I have summarized the essential foods I eat, and my cherry-picking approach to the teeth healing diet in a short e-book called Feed Your Teeth. You can download it for free.

I quit sugar easily but will it work for you?

However, if your teeth need you to give up sugar right now, there are several good programs you can follow. Whether you need rigid meal plans or a supportive community, there’s something for everyone who wants to quit sugar.  Look around and see what appeals to you.

A healthy diet is a life long project. Very few of us can sustain ongoing commitment to a quick-fix solution requiring deprivation and self-discipline. Sometimes you have to play the long game, as I did, and allow change to establish itself gradually.


*I say I’m sugar-free but I still have sweetness in my diet today. Most days I eat fresh fruit and carbs. Now and then I use a little honey or maple syrup as sweetener or eat a piece of 92% dark chocolate. I’ve recently started imbibing a tiny drink of alcohol every week or so. Once or twice a year I choose to join in a significant celebration by sharing a piece of wedding or birthday cake. But my baseline diet is easily refined-sugar-free with no sense of deprivation.

 

Please note that I am an affiliate partner with the Book Depository, my favourite online bookstore because they have great books and free postage! If you choose to buy through a link on this page I may receive a small commission. Win win!

 

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably...

Are nuts driving your tooth decay?

Are nuts driving your tooth decay?

Phytic acid and tooth decay

Nuts, tofu, brown rice and oats are just some of the ‘health’ foods that can cause tooth decay or gum disease. Cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds all contain phytic acid which is implicated in both toothaches and gum recession.

People who are genetically or otherwise vulnerable to dental caries and gingivitis should avoid or only consume limited amounts of these foods with careful preparation and accompanied by other nutrients that will aid digestion.

What’s wrong with grains, beans, nuts and seeds?

Human bodies are not designed to digest grains, beans, nuts and seeds raw. These kinds of food contain plant toxins (e.g. tannins and saponins)  and anti-nutrients including phytic acid. Phytic acid contains enzyme inhibitors which limit our ability to digest food, particularly breaking down proteins and turning starch into sugar in our stomachs.

Phytic acid contains the mineral phosphorus in a form that we cannot digest (phytate). Phosphorus is a crucial mineral for tooth remineralisation and gum health. However, phytic acid is not just holding back on the phosphorus we need. The phytic acid molecule also binds with other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc and makes them unavailable.  All these minerals are essential for teeth and gum health.

When we consume phytic acid it blocks our uptake of these vital minerals from the rest of our diet causing tooth decay and gum disease. Even just a little phytic acid in your diet can actually cause your body to lose calcium and not absorb phosphorus. Without phytic acid ‘we will absorb approximately 20 percent more zinc and 60 percent magnesium from our food’ (Nagel).

Minimise the effects of phytic acid on tooth decay

Avoid

If you are suffering from active tooth decay, cavities or gum disease then it’s generally advisable to avoid eating phytic acid foods as much as possible until you have at least stabilised your dental health.

Sometimes just removing most phytic acid foods from your diet can reduce the pain of a nagging toothache within days.

In particular avoid tofu and soy milk, raw nuts, nut butters, nut milks and nut flours, whole grain cereals, muesli, granola, snack bars and baking, rice cakes and rice milk.

If you are not in a dental emergency, or unable to get protein except from legumes and nuts, then there are a number of ways to minimise the potential harm of phytic acid in the diet.

Eat with vitamins A, C and D

Eating with whole foods with vitamin C, Activator X and fat-soluble vitamins A and D  has been show to reduce the severity of phytic acid’s impact.  Vitamin C can be had from fresh vegetables and fruits and raw milk. Fat soluble vitamins A and D and Activator X are most concentrated in cod liver oil, liver, grass fed butter and raw dairy.  (See my earlier blog post for more information about liver and fat soluble vitamins). Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut can also help the gut to digest phytic-foods more efficiently.

Remove the bran

Phytic acid concentrates in the bran- along with many of the nutrients in grains such as wheat and rice. Removing the bran, to make brown rice into white rice for example, removes most of the phytic acid, but also most of the other minerals. However those other minerals are not available for us to digest because of the presence of the phytic acid.  It is possible to process whole grains to neutralise the phytic acid so that the nutrients in the bran are available.

Soak, sprout, sour

Soaking, sprouting, souring, and then cooking  will reduce the phytic acid in most grains, nuts, beans and seeds. However, because there are such different levels of phytic acid in different types they require a variety of methods, all are time consuming and some are very complex.

Stone ground, sifted wheat or rye flour made into slow fermented sourdough bread is low in phytic acid.

To remove most of the phytic acid from brown rice soak for 24 hours at room temperature, drain and reserve 10% of the liquid for next time. Cooking rice after this first soaking will reduce the phytic acid by about 50%. Next time, add the reserved liquid to the soaking water and soak 24 hours before cooking. By the 4th cycle of soaking/reserving liquid the phytic acid in cooked rice will be reduced by about 96%.

To remove most of the phytic acid form oats sprout oats for five days at 52 degrees F and then soak for 17 hours at 120 degrees F.

To remove most of the phytic acid from quinoa soak for 12-14 hours, germinate for 30 hours, lacto-ferment for 16-18 hours, and then finally cook at 212 degrees F for 25 minutes.

Not exactly fast food! (link)

No simple solution

Levels of phytic acid not only vary greatly between different types of food, but also can be influenced by the growing conditions, harvesting methods, how long it has been stored and how it is processed.

Organic food may be lower in phytic acid than food grown with high-phosphate fertilizers- another vote in favor of eating organic! .

If you want to learn more about how to process phytic acid foods to minimise their teeth and gum harming effects I recommend Cure Tooth Decay and Cure Gum Disease Naturally, both by Ramiel Nagel, and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

NB I have partnered with my favorite bookstore, Book Depository, so if you choose to purchase through one of the links here, I may receive a small commission. Win win!

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably...

Learning to love liver to prevent a root canal

Learning to love liver to prevent a root canal

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10 Questions to consider before getting or removing a root canal. 

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How far would you go to prevent a root canal?

For a genuine super-food, liver gets a very bad rap but eating it helped me to prevent a root canal five years ago, and any significant cavities since then. I hated liver, and shuddered at the thought of eating it, but I hated the idea of another rooth canal (it would have been my seventh!) even worse.

Most people, when I recommend liver as a essential teeth and gum healing food, grimace and shudder at thought of eating this most accessible of offal.

However, when I ask if they think they could bear to eat pâté, they will often relax. Even if the thought of liver makes you gag, there’s usually at least one liver delicacy that you can tolerate (if you eat meat at all).

The concentration of fat soluble vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B12 and folic acid, iron, copper protein, anti-oxidents (and sometimes Activator X) means that liver has been recognized in every traditional food cultures as special nourishment for strength and vitality.  If you have tooth decay or gum disease liver is an important element in your holistic healing.

When vitamins A and D are consumed together as whole foods rather than supplements they are not toxic. Thus when you eat liver you should also eat foods with vitamin D (or getting a LOT of sunlight). Vitamin D rich foods include butter, milk, animal fat, seafood and eggs.

The easiest way to make sure your body can process the intense goodness in liver without overdosing on vitamin A is to eat butter or lard- if not at the same meal then at least the same day. And, no surprise, some of the most delicious liver recipes from different culinary traditions around the world include butter or lard.

Lets take a tour around some of the yummiest liver recipes in the world.

Japanese Sweet and Spicy Chicken Liver

French Chicken Liver Pâté

German Liverwurst

Swedish Liver Potato Patties

Ashkenaki Jewish Chopped Liver

Danish Leverpostej

Hyderbadi Keema Kaleji

Turkish Spicy Liver in the Albanian Style

Venetian Liver and Onion

Indian LIver Marsala

Chinese Claypot Liver with Ginger

Disclaimer: I have not tried all these recipes myself yet but I have included them here because they all look so good!

Download your free e-book and find out what else to eat to prevent a root canal. It’s not just liver!

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably...

Cure Tooth Decay- The Bible of nutritional teeth healing

Cure Tooth Decay- The Bible of nutritional teeth healing

The Miracle of Teeth Healing

Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition by Ramiel Nagel (2012) is the one of the most influential books of my voracious reading life. Not only did it save my teeth from their chronic and rapid decline, but it also cracked open the door that eventually led to my career as the Holistic Tooth Fairy.

I’ve told the story elsewhere of how starting to follow the dietary protocol recommended by Nagel prevented what would have been my 7th root canal, and any cavities since then.

For the past five years Cure Tooth Decay has been my Bible in many ways.

  • There is the miracle of healing my teeth.
  • There is the way I have evangelized the protocol to anyone who will listen.
  • But possibly the most biblical analogy though, is my frequent rereading of my paperback’s well worn pages.

Cure Tooth Decay is difficult reading

Every time I return to the book I learn something new. This is both a testament to the depth and complexity of the information, and a reflection of how poorly organised it is.

I have heard from so many people who struggle with reading it, particularly those trying to follow the Kindle edition and so are unable to flip between chapters trying to make sense and connections.

Five of its 11 chapters explain the dietary protocol recommended to cure tooth decay naturally. Each of these chapters describes the protocol from a different angle, which makes for repetition and a lot of page flicking in the guts of the book.  

It is simply not an easy book to refer to when you are trying to figure out what you should and shouldn’t eat, and why.  

That is why I’ve written a brief summary of the main principles and most essential foods from Cure Tooth Decay in to a free e-book called Feed Your Teeth which you can download now. One reader called it ‘Cliff Notes’ for Cure Tooth Decay!

Its not all about the food

For the first couple of years I was so focused on trying to understand and implement the dietary protocol that I barely skimmed the rest of the book.

Yet, when I did return to study the other chapters in depth they proved to contain important information to supplement the dietary protocol.  For example, I’ve come to understand that bite and relaxing the TMJ play a major role in teeth and gum health, almost as important as diet.

Hidden in a few chapters of the book are some profound hints about the metaphysical influences on our dental health.

Nagel mentions ‘the hidden need to be sick’, the story that our sore tooth might have to tell if we can listen, the importance of being connected to life and the role of fathers as providing primal nourishment. They are small but significant clues worthy of more discussion.

These kind of esoteric questions are particularly relevant for people whose adherence to the protocol doesn’t cure tooth decay rapidly or conclusively.

Frustrated followers of the protocol debating on Facebook about the exact dosage of supplements could benefit from a closer reading of the book. Of course this means asking some potentially uncomfortable metaphysical questions about dental health.

However, when I coach clients who are struggling with integrating teeth healing nutrition into their diet or not getting results from doing so, there is always an underlying emotional or environmental influence that needs to be addressed.

My dental health was transformed by Cure Tooth Decay and my book-buying life was changed by the Book Depository. They are an online bookstore offering free postage to anywhere in the world (even New Zealand) and I am proud to be an affiliate. That means if you click through on a link in this post and choose to purchase from the Book Depository I may receive a commission. Win-win! Yay!

If you would like to find out more about how holistic teeth healing strategies could help you, book a free 15 minute chat with me here

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably...