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X-ray Proof of my Cavity Healing Diet–Can You Cure Tooth Decay?

I tried healing my cavities and got X ray proof

I was going to eat chocolate last Wednesday, either way.

If I successfully healed my cavities, I’d enjoy some in celebration (and in moderation).

If I failed at curing tooth decay, I was going to have a good old-fashioned American pity party – drowning my sorrows in food. Smile

As it turns out, I’ve been eating lots of chocolate over the past week and talking about my teeth a LOT.

No one should talk about teeth this much.

But when the answer is as clear as my son’s vocabulary word this week, it’s time to dig in and learn more.

The word?

Ambiguous.

Fancy word for “not sure yet, unclear.”

What Happened to My Cavities?

If you remember from the anti-cavity plan, I had two cavities, one small one in the enamel and one deeper, into the dentin, both between teeth.

The local dentist wanted to fill them, but of course, I bucked the system and resisted.

I told him I wanted to try to heal my cavities with nutrition.

He looked at me funny but didn’t say outright that I was a kook, so I figured we were on pretty good terms.

For 3 months, I added or increased certain things in my diet and habits:

  • 2 c. or more raw milk (plus my regular daily yogurt and plenty of cheese)
  • Grassfed butter
  • Fish 1x/week or more
  • 5000 IUs Vitamin D
  • Oil pulling
  • Brushing teeth with Earthpaste and Orawellness blend and brush, 2x/day
  • I cooked liver a few times and took Perfect Desiccated Liver (use the coupon KS10 for 10% off!) capsules (to get grass-fed beef more than usual; organ meats highly recommended by Dr. Price and the Cure Tooth Decay book)
  • Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil
  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO is no longer irrefutably trustworthy, so do your research!)
  • Butter Oil (makes cod liver oil more effective, Vitamin K)

And for the last 50 days or so, I also omitted foods that are high in phytic acid, like:

  • all grains
  • all legumes
  • all nuts and seeds
  • chocolate

I also cut all sweeteners from my diet, including natural ones like honey and maple syrup.

I went back to get X-rays to see what had happened to my teeth.

I would have been happy with the slightest of improvement, for the dentist to say that I was on the right path as far as he could tell.

I was secretly hoping they would be 100% gone, a dental miracle, and I could real-food-evangelize the dentist and his staff, who would be amazed at what I was able to accomplish.

(cue angels singing)

Turn the angels off.

That’s not what happened.

My X-rays Were…

…exactly the same.

Discovering cavities in my mouth January

The more I read about teeth and remineralization during that cavity-healing attempt between X-rays, the more I realized that “the same” was going to be a very viable possibility.

The consensus is that teeth cannot actually regrow, so a “healed cavity” most likely will still look like a hole in the tooth – it’s just harder.

Since my cavities were both between the teeth, there is no way for the dentist to check the solidity of the spot with an explorer.

So we would likely be comparing equivalent X-rays, whether I succeeded in my goal or not.

Like I said – lovely ambiguity.

Cavities after 3 months anti cavity diet to heal tooth decay

But honestly, when I was getting the images ready for this post and switching back and forth between them on the same screen – I swear the April X-rays looked better than the January X-rays. But I have such an untrained eye! I’ll see if I can have another dentist look at them before the series is over and see what s/he thinks.

See what happened next, and check out the X-rays from later than year in December!!!

The Dentist, The Cheerleader, and The Zealot

I mentioned I’d been talking wayyyy too much about my teeth lately, and it’s true.

I had a great conversation with my dentist, Dr. VanderLaan, after he compared and evaluated the X-rays, and I learned a lot.

I interviewed Dr. Judene Benoit, 2nd generation dentist and author of How to Stop Cavities for half an hour and left feeling like I’d love to take her advice and celebrate my X-rays, but still a little confused.

Then I talked with Ramiel Nagel, author of Cure Tooth Decay, for over an hour and hung up feeling…well, hungry actually. I missed dinner. Smile But also a bit incredulous, which we’ll get into later.

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.

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.

I find it fascinating (and you will too) how their perspectives on my cavities and overall dental health both intersected and diverged at various places. I have so much information that this update will have to be a series for sure, coming at you about once a week until I run out of notes.

For today, let’s take the view at forty thousand feet and get the gist of what’s going on in my mouth, from the mouths of three experts in the field.

Note: Unless I use quotation marks, I’m just paraphrasing from our conversations and interactions, not directly quoting.

Question 1: Did I have a cavity?

imageDr. VanderLaan’s view: Since he wanted to fill them, he thinks “yes.” On my first visit, when the X-rays came back with holes in my teeth, I pressed for more information, and he did admit that the smaller one, the one in the enamel, could remineralize.

 

He did not expect anything good to happen to the larger one but acquiesced that it was my mouth, and certainly he would support anything I wanted to try.

Dr. Judene Benoit

Dr. Judene: I think Dr. Judene would also say “yes,” but with a big caveat.

Her dental textbooks, which she held up on screen a few times in our interview, say that to properly diagnose a cavity, one must have two X-rays to compare to see change, decay getting worse or a cavity getting larger. That would be a real diagnosis of an active cavity – so on one X-ray, Dr. Judene would not have said for sure if my cavities were active or arrested.

More below on why calling the cops on your teeth could be a good thing!

Ramiel Nagel author of Cure Tooth DecayRamiel Nagel: Maybe. Or not.

“Seeing one spot on an X-ray to me is not a good justification.”

Nagel says it’s normal that teeth are designed to be worn down, that they have pits and grooves and stuff, “dental erosion” from the damage of a lifetime. “Your dentist exaggerated that you had an active cavity, because only active cavities are what needs to be filled. You didn’t have one.”

He would want to see two X-rays to compare or another sign, such as pain when chewing, before even considering there to be an active cavity.

Instead of a dentist saying “that’s a normal indent” or it could be caused by pregnancy, etc. they’re calling it a cavity always.

“Whatever the reason, the tooth got stressed out and developed a hole, and now it’s an opportunity to make money. The system is so diseased and it’s hard for people to get how bad it is.”

He thinks that if I went to a dental professor and asked, “Does this need to be filled?” they would probably say no, not on one X-ray.

Design and Meter

Question 2: Is it healed or healing?

Dr. VanderLaan: He said that in just three months, while we could have seen a change as a result of further decay, he wouldn’t really expect it. But it would be hard to see improvement at this point, no matter what.

 

We’ll take more X-rays in a year, and “If they stay the same every year that is as good as healing them, in my opinion.”

Dr. Judene: She would check every 3-6 months to compare X-rays, and if there continues to be no change, then it can be confirmed diagnosed as an arrested cavity instead of an active one. An “arrested” cavity is basically just an area of tooth decay that has hardened up, and it used to be a cavity but no longer is one anymore.

She uses the word “healed” because it’s more familiar to people and makes sense, but the proper dental term is “arrested decay.” And it’s a good thing!

Ramiel Nagel: Since he didn’t really think I had a cavity in the first place, this isn’t a fair question. But we’ll learn more about what he really thinks below…

Question 3: Did anything I tried between X-rays help?

Xray selfie at the dentists office

I am nothing if not humble, people…I didn’t even think to put makeup on before dashing to the dentist’s but still took this selfie at the last minute, realizing, “Hey, I’m a blogger. I should be taking pictures of this for my post!” Do me a favor and pretend my hair and makeup are actually done? Thanks.

Dr. VanderLaan: The hygienist and I were both pretty excited to see the results of my X-rays, I think, as I was the first patient to come in for something like this with a laundry list of things I’d done to heal my cavities. Dr. V. said I am the only patient he’s ever had to speak the word “remineralization.” I like being different. Smile

 

As exciting as it seemed, it was a bit of a let-down for me, but exactly what Dr. VanderLaan expected, when the X-rays were identical.

“Remineralization can happen, but to my best knowledge it only really happens via topical/extrinsic actions.” Teeth cannot be healed/affected in any way from the inside of our bodies.

He hadn’t read my first cavity post, but he addressed my main point nonetheless: Teeth are different than bones – teeth are acellular and anervous. Nerves are present inside the pulp tissue in the center, but not throughout the tooth and they do not regrow or change. Bones are constantly being remodeled by osteoclasts (bone “eating”) and osteoblasts (bone creating). So bones are living and teeth (the hard parts of them at least) are non-living.

Dr. Judene: Her book, How to Stop Cavities, discusses how many different paths there may be to heal a cavity, and she emphasizes that we don’t completely understand the body’s ability to heal (which makes me respect her even more because she’s open to admitting all that her profession doesn’t know). She’s seen homeless people with massive healed cavities, and they certainly weren’t doing anything to try to heal them!

“You have done a great job of either completely remineralizing your cavities or keeping them as very slowly progressing as a worst case scenario. You should be really proud of yourself, especially for not having any progression of the cavity that is slightly into dentin, and in-between the teeth – a VERY challenging cavity to remineralize. You are doing great!!”

Ramiel Nagel: Since everything I had tried was right out of Nagel’s book, I expected him to (1) support my dietary changes, and (2) perhaps have an explanation of something I had missed, a reason it didn’t seem to “work” as I had hoped.

Instead, I felt he backpedaled a little bit on his book: “Assuming you metabolize food well, diet constantly remineralizes or demineralizes teeth.”

He said the avoiding grains isn’t, “You have to eat this way all the time to avoid tooth decay,” but rather, “This is how you dig yourself out of a big hole.”

I guess in that light I may have gone overboard on my anti-cavity diet, but he still maintained that grains are bad for oral and overall health, and also that chocolate is very bad for gum disease, many things point to problems with teeth.

I tried to muffle the sounds of chocolate wrappers skipping daintily across my desk in the background, the result of too many late nights that same week.

And then Nagel started talking about stress and the importance of sleep. Uh oh.

Question 4: What’s my risk of further tooth decay?

Dr. VanderLaan: We didn’t really talk about this explicitly, but he said we can simply continue to monitor and take more X-rays at my next regular appointment in a year: “I am open to seeing what happens. The smaller one is in the enamel only- this can remineralize. The larger cavity is more questionable.”
Dr. Judene: She would like to first confirm that we’re actually seeing arrested decay in future X-rays. Once we’re sure that the decay isn’t going any further into the tooth, first, we celebrate!

Then we celebrate more, because that spot, that “healed” or “arrested” cavity, has no more chance of becoming an active cavity than any other random spot in my mouth. It may even be slightly less susceptible to decay because remineralized cavities can become stronger than ever.

In her father’s practice, some patients have had arrested cavities for literally decades. (That’s so cool!)

Ramiel Nagel: When I admitted that I did have a secondary symptom of some minor tooth sensitivity to sweet (and had for years and years), Nagel perked up. His tone and story changed from I doubt you even have a cavity to Let’s talk about your risk of gum disease.

He said, “You don’t have ideal circumstances – breastfeeding, stress, etc. For me, if you’re not having cavities or having it stable, neutral, you’re doing great!”

We circled back to the basic concept of teeth healing, and he explained that the inside of the tooth has dentin fluid that constantly is circulating, and the fluid is what nourishes the tooth. When we get stressed, there’s less fluid in our teeth for some people.

He remains convinced that both enamel and dentin of teeth can repair and heal themselves, and that they can also be impacted not only by what we eat, but by our stress and sleep as well. I think he would say that if my circumstances don’t change in some way – I still have four kids, a blog to run, real food to cook 3x/day, and am writing this post in the middle of the night – that I’m at great risk for gum disease and resulting tooth decay.

Question 5: How will I know if the cavity is getting worse or better?

Dr. VanderLaan: X-ray proof. His hygienist seemed worried that I might allow the cavity to get to a dangerous point where major problems could arise, so she instructed me to watch carefully for tooth pain, and that I’d know if it was bad because the pain wouldn’t go away like an incidence of cold or sweet sensitivity does.
Dr. Judene: X-ray proof. “You could always go back for new x-rays in 3-6 months as opposed to 1 year as an extra safety precaution (actually that is what I would truly recommend – better safe than sorry and it means you don’t have to wait a whole to year to celebrate even more assuming no progression!).”

Ramiel Nagel: X-ray proof plus intense pain, hurting when I chew. Even in that case, he would still attempt to remineralize the cavity. Unless one is in near knee-buckling pain, he doesn’t advocate for drilling and filling, which he deems surgery, something that should be taken very seriously.

Question 6: What should I do going forward?

Dr. VanderLaan: His recommendation for me moving forward is to use fluoride on the teeth – he understands that I have concerns about systemic fluoride or ingesting it, so since I’d rather avoid fluoride toothpaste, he would like to see me get braided floss (really thick) and dip it in an over-the-counter fluoride rinse (like ACT or another brand with a bit higher concentration) for a minute or so, then move it/rest it on the affected teeth, after normal flossing and brushing so that the fluoride sits on the teeth for a while.

 

In next year’s X-rays, if it all looks the same, and then it continues to look the same year after year, I wouldn’t need a filling then. But if the cavity gets too big, I need more than just a filling, so it’s a risk!

Dr. Judene: There are many, many ways to remineralize cavities, and Dr. Judene really doesn’t (and won’t) prescribe one way for her patients. She says that people really want a checklist, but there just isn’t one.

“The key is to find the best diet and lifestyle for YOU and then you will be set.” So I just monitor and figure out how I’m doing…

Ramiel Nagel: He doesn’t think I need to stick to the strict diet I was doing, but “mindful.” He wants to see me reduce my overall stress. Take magnesium baths, both to get the minerals and to relax a little.

He thinks I need to:

  • keep my calorie intake high, especially with breastfeeding – plenty of milk, cheese and butter
  • keep my carbs up (safe carbs include white and sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, black beans, nixtamalized organic corn, sourdough white bread, quinoa, amaranth, teff, and soaked buckwheat)
  • add bone marrow to my diet
  • get at least 1/4 tsp. kelp powder (found on Amazon) daily (capsules at Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • turn off wireless at night
  • get rid of our Smart Meter
  • “Also get enough sleep – your body can’t heal.”

If you’re a visual person, OraWellness has a series of free videos “5 Steps to a Healthy Mouth” that are so good, readers recommended them to ME! Check them out HERE.

The Most Important Lesson

The absolute bottom line of this whole story, if you ask me, is to ask questions at the dentist’s office.

  • Ask if you really need it.
  • Ask if you can wait.

If you don’t, I say you run a great risk of getting fillings unnecessarily! It seems most dentist’s offices fill any cavity they see, even though it’s pretty clear that a comparison X-ray is the best (only?) way to properly diagnose an active cavity.

My dentist acknowledged that the smaller cavity would likely remineralize – and he ended up being fine with waiting on both of them, but I would have had at least two, if not three fillings back in January had I not asked questions and gone deeper.

Next Steps: What Will I Really Do?

You know I’m all about baby steps and giving grace on the journey, so when I set out on this cavity healing diet, I purposely didn’t do it perfectly.

An Attempt to Cure Tooth Decay - X-ray Proof of my Cavity Healing Diet

I didn’t oil pull every single day (ok, that might have been just because I was busy), I did eat white potatoes (starchy) and dried fruit and other fruits, and I even missed brushing my teeth sometimes, especially in the morning on days when I wasn’t leaving the house.

That wasn’t exactly on purpose either – I was trying really hard to brush twice a day.

But overall I figured that if I did 100% of the recommendations 100% perfectly, it might look really unattainable to readers, and we’d never know if there was an easier way than perfection.

The easier way didn’t work.

So now I have a big decision to make.

Keep up the cavity-healing diet completely, continue to include and exclude some but not all of the items on the list, or just go back to eating pretty darn healthy and hope for the best…or maybe take a bath and get more sleep?

So far, since the X-rays, I’ve completely fallen off the wagon on chocolate and oil pulling. I would really like to keep up on my cod liver oil, on consuming high quality and good amounts of dairy, my Vitamin D supplement and the oil pulling.

I’ll consider using a fluoride rinse on the floss, but I haven’t addressed it yet with an actual purchase.

I ran out of liver capsules, and I’m not sure if I’m going to reorder them, use more of what I have in the freezer, or just let that one drop.

I was absolutely terrible at keeping up on the magnesium oil, particularly after one night when I sprayed it on really thoroughly and then could hardly sleep for hours because my skin was burning! In retrospect, I should have just gotten up and washed it off, but I’m sure I had a nursing/sleeping baby next to me, which generally clouds my judgment and keeps me in bed so I don’t wake him.

I could have also used this magnesium oil balm instead that is intended for kids and doesn’t sting at all like regular magnesium oil.

However, I’d like to do more to get magnesium into me, so it’s still a goal.

RELATED: About kid’s magnesium.

I was pretty excited to hear that smaller legumes are safer, so the lentils and black beans that are most prolific in our normal diet are definitely back on the table for me. I have kept the grains very low and will probably continue that, and I’ll use white rice instead of brown far more than I used to.

I ate a small bowl of oatmeal the other day and felt like a total renegade.

Sometimes I just want to do the opposite of what I should!

In general, though, I’ll keep the risks of phytic acid at the forefront of my mind and avoid what I can without being legalistic about it.

And the sleep thing.

I’m going to have to work on that one…but not tonight. It’s too late for that!

What do you think? Am I headed for disaster or another set of mirror-image X-rays which would mean success?

In the future installments of this series, we’ll look at:

  • The cheerleader: You can see my entire interview with the queen of analogies, the dentist who tries to bring every big concept into tangible, easy-to-understand terms for the rest of us, Dr. Judene Benoit. You’re going to love it, and her enthusiasm. Here’s the How to Stop Cavities interview
  • The cynic: We’ll get into my conversation with Ramiel Nagel, who is as passionate about decrying the decline of the dental profession in the last 100 years as he is about dental health. Find out his perspective on whole body health, compassion and encouragement for everyone, and the fact that cavities do not generally need to be drilled and filled, plus more of his advice for me and my sensitive teeth from his new book, Cure Gum Disease. Here’s the interview with Ramiel Nagel
  • My panoramic X-rays from a few years ago – was there decay at that time? What should I do about my half-in, half-out wisdom teeth?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from which I will earn a commission – to pay for regular dental X-rays, I guess! See my full disclosure statement here.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

58 thoughts on “X-ray Proof of my Cavity Healing Diet–Can You Cure Tooth Decay?”

  1. Teeth absorb most of nutrients from saliva. A very small amount of nutrients come through pulp. I use Biocalcium mouthwash, it contains magnesium, zinc, hydroxopatite (what your teeth are comprised of) and calcium lactate. Give it a try

  2. This was REALLY informative! Thank you!! Three years ago I found what I assumed to be a cavity, and in my American vanity, freaked out over it, as I live in Japan and had hear horror stories about their dentistry. I put off going to the dentist here, and it has stayed exactly the same for the past three years. I was baffled! No pain or anything. I finally DID brave the Japanese dentist (and it was so totally fine that I felt like an idiot for not going), and he told me it’s NOT a cavity. I was skeptical, but don’t really have the vocabulary to argue it, so I let it go. Your post makes so much sense in light of my experience, and it makes me feel even better about this dentist! Thank you!

  3. Very interesting! As a herbalist, nutritionist (www.cobblestonehealth.com), and mom of 7 I must say we have been very blessed. Most of our children had no cavities – until our youngest 🙁
    Having said that, I have wondered about the emotional causes of cavities, and have also wondered about remineralizing teeth. I’m delighted to see others have done.

  4. Can you please provide info on where Ramiel Nagel comes up with his theories behind changes in teeth such as the fluid in the dentin that “nourishes” teeth. I have looked for it and never found any actual research or science to back up his statements regarding the causes of tooth decay and healing teeth. Great job sticking with that strict nutrition plan by the way!

  5. Thanks for this blog! I am trying to remineralize cavities too, so I am researching everything. Did you get any ideas on dietary changes or how to remineralize your teeth after reading Dr. Benoit’s book? What other things have you found out since you wrote the blog? Thanks!

    1. Hi K. Rae,
      I didn’t really dig into the process further after writing this series – were you able to find all the posts? Including this one on what we ate: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2015/03/02/whole30-anti-cavity-meal-plan/

      Hope that helps! 🙂 Katie

  6. It looks like the cavities that are on the x-ray are in the area where there is a filling. I am trying to help heal my daughter`s tooth right now, so she doesn`t ever have to have fillings.

  7. I love that you posted such details about your experience! I’ve been curious about this for a couple years now. I look forward to your December update!

  8. Heya, excited that I found your blog and your blog post! I’m going through a similar situation – 6 (SIX) cavities but they’re all small and all in the enamel phase. Thinking of trying to remineralize first for three months but worried that the tooth decay might advance too fast from now on, so I’m taking a lot of inspiration and heart from this post 🙂 How are your cavities doing? Any progress since April?

  9. 1. Avoid flouride at all cost! It is a toxic waste (according to EPA), and the cause for most brain, heart, and body problems today! Actually harmful to our teeth.
    2. Increase magnesium supplementation through Mg oils and ReMag (or Mg citrate or Mg glycinate) …1,000 mg per 100lb weight. Brush teeth with Mg oil twice a day. Mg strengthens teeth!
    3. Limit dairy to one serving a day for 3-4 months…until you replete your Mg stores. I too am a WAPF nutritionist, so I understand your love of dairy. But it’s Mg that our bones and teeth need more, not calcium. Since we have been Mg depleted for almost a century, what’s happening (especially due to calcium
    supplements) is mass calcifying of our soft tissues…brain, heart, joints, etc. Flouride is doing the same thing to us. Four great resources…
    Dr. Russell Blaylock (flouride)
    Dr. Carolyn Dean (magnesium)
    Magnesium Advocacy FB page
    Nourished Body and Soul FB page (mine)
    PS Thanks for the homemade sweetened condensed milk recipe! I’m making Key Lime Pie for Father’s Day.

    1. Thanks Maureen!!

      Very interesting about the dairy…so Nagiel has it wrong when he says to max out on grassfed butter, milk and cheese? We cut down on our order of raw milk so I have no choice but to cut down on my servings, although I still eat a lot of cheese. I’ll have to look into the Mag issue more, thanks! 🙂 Katie

    2. The best calcium product on the market I found by research is Jarrow Ultra Bone Up. It not only includes MCHA but also bioavailable silica.

      Phytates in one meal do not effect another meal so they can be eaten. Just take minerals away from meals that are dominated by phytates

  10. Hi Katie, My wife and I have been on a tooth healing adventure with our 4 (almost 5) year old son. Has had a discolored “pit” right smack dab on the front of one of his canines for the better part of a year. We supplemented his died with the Fermented Cod Liver Oil & high vit butter oil combo, but not much else. We snap pictures periodically to see if we can see any difference (think it’s arrested..?), but of course it’d be better if it would JUST GO AWAY!

    Anyhow I know you must get overload of “try this” and “read this,” and where there is somewhat limited resources on this topic I am wondering if you have come across a work by GERARD F. JUDD, Ph.D. GOOD TEETH FROM BIRTH TO DEATH? (if so, I would love to hear your opinion)

    I stumbled upon it several years ago and ashamedly have not put any action behind it. Always easier to have someone else do it, right. I will let you know if we get around to giving-it-a-go as well, but I thought his research might be worth while to you while on your exploration too. He seems to have very good recommendation on the use of fluoride too, although you may have resolved that decision. One of many websites to download it from is http://www.rexresearch.com/judd/goodteeth.pdf (I have no affiliation), or a simple internet (key word) search will put up easy access to it as well. Thank you for sharing your experiences and research with us all!

  11. Hi, Katie! Your posts inspired me to try and heal my tooth when it flared up this weekend. I really REALLY didn’t want a root canal! It’s early yet, but the pain is almost completely gone. I’ve written everything up here: http://joelysueburkhart.com/the-blog/life-happens/my-crazy-tooth-saga/. Thanks for all the information you provided!

  12. Jaime Brocklesby

    As a dental hygienist, and a lover of whole foods and natural remedies, I LOVE this post!!! The majority of my patients would never take their oral health this seriously, so I love your questions and eagerness to try alternative methods.
    Maybe it was mentioned before, but I wanted to make sure it was said…. If you’re seeing a dentist on a regular basis and get xray films every year or so, when a cavity appears on that film, I’d highly recommend getting the appropriate treatment (filling) for it. Because, like you had mentioned, unless you stay on this amazing diet and routine (oil pulling and applying mag oil), you’ll probably be unable to manage the arrest of the decay. This is why we take the films periodically, to update the baseline for our patients. Also, waiting until you feel pain on that tooth us really not food advice. Pain indicates it’s progressing, yes, but sometimes people don’t feel pain until it’s reached all the way through the dentin and into the nerve, then we’re potentially talking root canal. Ick. Anyway, again, love the post and look forward to the update in a year or so!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Jaime! I love that you like it…although it makes me a little nervous that in spite of that, you’d recommend filling on an Xray. I haven’t stayed on the diet…do you think it’s necessary for the long term? I stay away from grains more than most people, but I am back to chocolate and some soaked grains! I wish there was a way to know when the cavity is remineralized so I can stop tip toeing around it, I guess…it would be a sad, sad ending to the story if I was dumb enough to end up with a root canal…so here’s hoping I don’t!

      🙂 Katie

  13. I have been trying a few things for my teeth recently and for my son. He just turned 7 and has about 8-10 cavities in his mouth! We eat a mostly gluten free diet and recently cut grains. He’s never had juice consistently. Or candy or sugar! I feel at a loss of what to do! And can’t decide if I need to trust the dentist, which is a holistic one, and fill them or just wait. they are all baby teeth snd he’s not had any pain. I appreciate all your research and time putting this information together. If you have any thoughts I’d be open to hearring them!

    1. Hi Alicia,
      Really all I know is in this post, the last one (and a bit more coming in the next few weeks)…from what all these experts said, the best course of action is to take more Xrays in 3-6 mos. and watch for continued decay. In the immediate future, many on the first post mentioned that just adding cod liver oil made a huge difference for their oral health! Starting there would at least give you something. I hope you can figure this out for your little guy! 🙂 Katie

    2. I just arrested/healed all 5 of my high functioning Autistic son’s cavities. Confirmed at the dentist on Tuesday this week. I have posted what I did on FB (and its MUCH easier than what was mentioned here) I will be posting it to a blog shortly.

      FRIEND me at FB if you want the info asap as the post is friends only at the moment. Facebook dot com/sussmank

      1. I did make the FB post public for the time being

        https://www.facebook.com/sussmank/posts/10207072611276331

        Editing the blog post- will be live at

        http://realitycheckbyarealgenius.blogspot.com

  14. Great post! Are you doing k2? It’s pricey for the good stuff, but I consider it essential, along with supplementing minerals. The other thing to have checked is the calcium/phosphorus balance in your mouth. You can also use things like Squiggle toothpaste and pascalite clay and salt water to remineralize teeth. Vit C is key too.

    I myself have some crazy teeth issues, but I’m afraid it is because lyme lives in my mouth, and my body isn’t responding to vit D therapy… but I was able to arrest cavity for a little while when I followed a heavy duty protocol. Seaweed is key as well as k2 and taking HUGE amounts of cod liver oil and butter oil.

    Best wishes on your journey!

  15. As a non-itchy, non-burning alternative to the magnesium oil, you could try a liquid magnesium. I use ReMag, which is expensive but has smaller particles than the competition. (I’ve tried another brand and I can tell the difference. It’s enough that I switched back.)

  16. You mentioned chocolate being bad for dental health. Could you explain further? I am curious. I have noticed extreme sensitivity when I eat/chew chocolate in recent years. I hardly eat it anymore due to the pain. I drink hot chocolate if I have a craving.

  17. I’ve been waiting for the update! Very interesting! On the magnesium oil thing, my mom is sensitive to ingesting magnesium(irritated stomach) or putting it all over her skin, but she has found great success just rubbing it into her feet right before bed! She feels much better when on it. Just thought I’d mention that as an alternative.

    I hope tonight finds you in an Epsom salt bath and a nice warm bed early 🙂

  18. HI Katie,
    I was recently talking to my Chiropractor and she recommended getting magnesium through the skin…an Epsom salt bath! Have not done research but makes sense to me…the skin is our biggest organ.
    Carrie

  19. Third attempt to leave a comment–fingers crossed that it works this time!!

    Anyway, just as a thought, have you read the book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye? It’s all about “healing” cavities and remineralizing teeth. It’s by a conventional dentist, so it does use fluoride products (Crest and ACT). But the writer has chronicled her success with the regimen in both US and UK dental practices. It might at least give you another source and more information. (And I think she’s planning a follow-up book that looks more at the nutrition angle of the equation, so that could be informative as well.)

    http://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Your-Dentist-Goodbye–Yourself/dp/1929774672/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430409208&sr=8-1&keywords=kiss+your+dentist+goodbye (Note: This is NOT an affiliate link–just a basic Amazon link. I’m not spamming you!)

    1. Karen,
      Thanks for the recommendation! Bummer that it’s not at my local library but I added it to my Amazon wish list. Interesting!
      🙂 Katie

      PS – do you know what trouble you had commenting? I thought your comment might be in spam but I don’t see anything there. ?? So sorry you had a problem!

      1. Honestly, I was having trouble with the site in general at that time. I had started to read this post on my iPod, and it kept crashing and trying to reload. So I thought, “Okay, it’s a problem with either my device or the mobile site itself, no biggie.” I loaded the site on my laptop and was finally able to read the entire post. But leaving a comment didn’t work until I came back later. (I’m glad I didn’t end up with three copies of the above comment though!!)

  20. I can’t wait to read what you have to say about half-in/half-out wisdoms teeth. My daughter is struggling with this now, and she and I are reluctant to go the extraction route.

  21. My dental health improved significantly (plaque and gums) when I started brewing kombucha and water kefir and drinking it daily. It makes sense that the health of oral flora affects the amount of plaque formed.

    1. I try to eat/drink at least one cultured food or drink per day for the health benefits, too. I make kombucha and (more sporadically) water kefir, but I remember reading an article on Oralwellness’s website to be careful with kombucha when it comes to your teeth because it is just as acidic as soda! I wouldn’t have thought about that, but it makes sense…after all, it’s turning into acidic vinegar.

      Not that kombucha should be avoided for that reason, just that it might be better to drink it all in one sitting rather than sip throughout the day (so the pH of your mouth can get back to normal when you’re done). And also that it’s a good idea to wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth so that the enamel has a chance to recover, since acidic beverages I guess can soften it.

  22. I love you!!! You lay it all out there just as I want to read it–the good, the bad, the ugly. You have a good dose of humor, plus you explain very technical stuff for the everyday reader. I’ve been watching your experiment and it’s so fascinating! I recently was told I had some decay, but no pain or other signs. I was not aware of active vs arrested decay. That makes total sense. And after a neighbor started working for a traditional dentist, I have no doubt money is a driving force to fill these “beginning” cavities. Her new boss is trying to be part of the Million Dollar Club of dentists. There is a whole training group that helps dentists achieve this, including getting people in to the office rather than answer questions on the phone. I was in total shock. I guess I thought dentists were different, more for the greater good. Of course they should make money and be successful, but for SOME to deliberately find ways to get patients in for procedures that might not be necessary makes me doubt so much. I look forward to reading more of your healing journey!

  23. Very interesting. I like how you broke down the info with the colored boxes, so that it was easy to see what each person thought about each aspect of the issue.

  24. Good job.

    If you are really considering fluoride, please really research this first. All that I’ve read (and I had a conventional dentist state, too) is that fluoride is really only effective for a short time during childhood, and then, of course, only topically. If you decided to do this anyway, I wonder if you could get a hold of calcium fluoride, which is natural, rather than the crap normally used and is in no way natural.

    I’ve spent a lot of time on the fluoride issue because both my baby teeth and adult teeth were severly damage by fluoride, and I have struggled with numerous other issues (including insomnia and depression) since a fluoride treatment when I was 16. The fluoride poisoning I had as a child may have made me much more susceptible, but still, honestly, from the research I have done I see no justification for most people to ever have fluoride. I certainly do not want to see others fight the unnecessary health issues I’ve had due to fluoride use.

    Best wishes! Keep up the good work.

      1. Yes, just topical not systemic. I was violently ill the rest of the day, and began having insomnia not long after, although i didn’t connect the dots, then.

        Best wishes.

    1. My husband and his brother both have moderate to severe fluorosis from fluoride poisoning. If you’re rubbing it against your gums its still going into your system. So its still going to hurt your thyroid, pituitary gland, etc. I do also think that it’s effectiveness at hardening teeth has been over exaggerated.

  25. Thanks for sharing the details of your tooth remineralization experiment! This is definitely something that I worry if the dentist ever finds another cavity in my mouth (or one of my kids’!). I was also interested to hear Ramiel Nagel’s opinion about gum disease and pregnancy/breastfeeding…I’m currently on pregnancy number 4, and have wondered if I have some pregnancy-related gum disease. Consistent flossing has definitely helped with that, but I haven’t seemed to be able to completely get rid of the symptoms I’ve been having. Maybe I just need to keep up with a good diet and wait it out…and finally make my next dental appointment that is long overdue (you know, because I have 3 young kids and am pregnant!) 🙂

    1. I hear you Nicole! It was actually my old hygienist who told me pregnancy pulls a lot of health out of your gums, so I led the witness on that one. 🙂 Might wait it out until bfing is over and see if your gums recover along with the rest of your body! 🙂 Katie

    2. My gums were in pretty good shape until I got pregnant, then I started having infected pockets. After my pregnancy, I started having to get antibiotic injections into my gum pockets (which I try to avoid, but I always heal and feel better when I get them). My gums are so bad that I have to get cleanings 4x a year; when I keep up with this schedule, then I don’t need the antibiotics as often. I started using the OraWellness blend, thinking that maybe I could skip a cleaning. So I skipped one of my cleanings last year, but my pockets were infected again and I needed the shots. So for me, having regular cleanings (4x a year!) is the key to keeping my gums healthy.

  26. Hi Katie! I enjoyed reading your blog about repairing teeth. I have for many years done some of the right things, but, as with you, not as much as would be ideal. And sleep and stress have been a huge challenge for years. I’m pretty sure I’ll be buying Rami’s book soon because I want to make more progress healing my teeth and I only know what I know from the book Nourishing Traditions–I think his book will be more instructive.
    I have a few ideas that I hope could help you greatly! First, magnesium oil IS drying and burning to the skin–at least the first brand I tried was. Then I bought SunFood which was more expensive but people had reviewed it as less itchy. It is less itchy and burny, except if the skin has recently been shaved or scraped. Without this, I would not be sleeping as well at all.
    Next way I perhaps can help: Way back when, in my early twenties, I used to eat chocolate and relied on it for calming at certain times of the month. I decided to get off of it for health reasons. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but did take time. I took freeze-dried stinging nettle capsules as soon as I had a craving for chocolate. The cravings went away. Nettle tea is very drinkable to me too, but at the time I just used capsules. I believe chocolate–even not overly sweet chocolate–is very hard on the teeth, perhaps because it acidifies the body, not sure.
    Finally, I’ve recently begun using a zapper and zappicator from bestzapper dot com. Harmful micro-organisms under teeth are difficult to kill because our blood containing our immune white blood cells does not reach the chambers there. I zappicate my teeth every few days, along with all other parts of my body, and I zap–different from zappicating–which helps our body to clean our blood and body of harmful micro-organisms for at least 5 minutes daily. I have had great reduction in pain throughout my body from doing this. Relief from my joint pain throughout my body began after the FIRST USE of the zapper. Now that I’ve begun a Hulda Clark herbal parasite cleanse, my healing is accelerating even more.
    Best wishes with everything, Katie.
    Sherri

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