I told you in my last post about my attempts to heal my cavities that you’d love hearing from Dr. Judene Benoit, second generation dentist and author of How to Stop Cavities: A Natural Approach to Prevention and Remineralization.
I characterized her as a cheerleader and queen of analogies, and you’ll see in the full-length interview (about 30 minutes) today exactly what I mean! I was honored to have such a piece of Dr. Judene’s time, and I know you’ll be blessed by her enthusiasm and frank facts in this interview:
If you can’t view the video above, click through to How to Stop Cavities – Interview with Dr. Judene Benoit to see it on YouTube.
Hungry for more?
OraWellness has a series of free videos called “5 Steps to a Healthy Mouth” that are so good, readers recommended them to ME! Check them out HERE. They cover gum disease and healthy brushing beyond just cavities and are very down to earth.
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For the Busy Among You
I know I don’t have time to watch videos all the time, so if you’re in that boat, here are the “Cliff’s notes” so you can skim the most important points we covered. Use the timestamps to browse to a section of video if you’d like to hear more.
1:27 Defining Terms
A: Active cavity: continuous demineralization
Arrested cavity: was active, but has been remineralized
2:54 Q: On an x-ray do arrested and active cavities look different?
A: No! Example of a finger- if it was cut off then we would consider it healed, but it would still be evident that it had been cut off.
3:42 Q: So is an arrested cavity more at risk for becoming active again?
A: No, its either the same risk or less of a risk of becoming a cavity again.
5:00 Q: How do we know if it is arrested?
A: Its complicated! Can only be diagnosed by a dentist; need to measure growth over time…. if a cavity never grows while taking a series of x-rays (over 3 month periods) then it’s arrested. Then you need to use x-rays to monitor periodically to make sure that it remains arrested.
8:34 Q: How often should cavities be x-rayed?
A: monitored every 3 months (the dental school textbook recommendation). Your (Katie’s) dentist recommendation of followup x-rays in a year seems reasonable.
10:47 Q: What are some of the risk factors for cavities?
A: Overall health, stress, things that you (Katie) mentioned. Cavities can also be arrested for many years.
13:18 Digital x-rays show more, so dentists may be seeing more than they were previously.
13:38 K: My old dentist wasn’t very holistic, so he probably would have filled them if they were there.
DJB: Not necessarily! Remineralization is not an unusual idea in dentistry. Dentin remineralization is a fact. The outer surface of the teeth is enamel; underneath is dentin. (Watch to see methods Dr. Judene lists for remineralization.)
15:12 Q: is is possible to remineralize both enamel and dentin?
A: Yes! both enamel and dentin can be remineralized- cavities can become arrested in both.
15:30 DJB: Dentin remineralization is way more difficult than enamel remineralization. Also, remineralizing between the teeth is way more difficult… So, Katie’s cavity between the teeth and in the dentin would be a big challenge.
16:30 Watch to see why some dentists don’t want to bother with talking with patients about remineralization!
17:30 Q: What about my plan to remineralize? What’s the right way to remineralize cavities?
18:44 Q: Would you expect a rate of change in 3 months?
A: Not a lot…
19:50 DJB: People misunderstand when they say that they want a cavity to heal- they think that it is going to completely fill in and that you’re not going to see it anymore (on the x-ray or otherwise), but that’s not what happens… (Watch to hear the analogy in person!)
20:15 Q: Can enamel fill in but not dentin or neither?
A: Neither. Healing is a proper dental term but is only used when referring to a cavity that is so small that it is not broken through the enamel… a small amount of demineralization that has then been remineralized… HOWEVER, that’s not what most people are talking about when they talk about healing their teeth. (Watch to find out what you see on X-rays.)
21:35 Q: So what do you do to remineralize?
A: I wrote a whole book on it! How to Stop Cavities: A Natural Approach to Prevention and Remineralization (found on Amazon)
21:53 Q: Do you do topical or internal treatments?
A: Both. Basically, bacteria + susceptible tooth= cavity… which is a common theme for many conditions or disorders. So, you need to approach and address both of those things.
It gets super scientific here, folks – feed your academic brain and watch this explanation starting at…
23:00 DJB: Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMP’s)- enzymes in the mouth that remove damaged parts of the tooth. BUT- these MMP’s need inhibitors so that they don’t remove too much. Example of the gardener- prunes away dead leaves, buds, etc to allow new growth… When bacteria causes demineralization, MMP’s need to removed the dead parts. They are good to clear the damage, but if there are no inhibitors then continual damage will occur. So- an excess of MMP’s and too few MMP inhibitors will cause increased demineralization.
26:57 DJB: There isn’t one right way to remineralize, but it is a do-able thing to stop cavities. Having healthy, healed teeth is possible for everyone.
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I got in contact with Dr. Judene after listening to her podcast with Katie at Wellness Mama – you’ll hear some repeats, but if you’re interested, here it is. Katie successfully reported remineralizing her teeth a few years ago…
We’ll hear more from Ramiel Nagel, author of Cure Tooth Decay, next week when the “healing cavities” saga continues!
Is There a HOLISTIC Dentist Hiding In Your Town?
Robyn Openshaw over at Green Smoothie Girl spent months calling every holistic dentist she could find in the U.S! She learned what services each of them provide, and made a special guide so you can find a holistic dentist who uses practices that are non-toxic, so you can avoid heavy metals, root canals, radioactive x-rays, and more.
She’s made all the information she gathered available for free in one amazing resource, The Insider’s Guide to Holistic Dentists.