I hadn’t been to the dentist in over a year.
This negligence didn’t alarm me… I brush my teeth 2-3 times daily. I floss (when I remember to at least). I eat what I perceived to be a healthy whole foods centric diet. So the thought of getting cavities or tooth decay rarely crossed my mind.
One day, the mental note of needing to book a dentist appointment popped into my head. So naturally, I wanted to check out my pearly whites first to see how they were doing... and it wasn’t good. It appeared like a had several tiny black spots on the top of my lower back molars. "CAVITIES!" was my first thought. Then the voice of denial jumped in, trying to convince myself that they were simply black pepper particles. So I brushed those molars rigorously. Heck, I even used a steel dental pick to try to clean those babies up. But to my dismay, the black spots remained. And then I did what most people shouldn’t… I used Google to self-diagnose myself. I started googling things like “what cavities look like” as well as “molar cavities” and “tooth decay on your molars.” BTW if you have an uneasy stomach or are prone to nausea, brace yourself before you do those searches. And while my current situation wasn’t reflecting the more horrific images from the search, I did find a few not-as-alarming photos that resembled what was showing on my teeth.
Panic set in, and I started thinking about how this was karma for skipping out on my bi-annual dentist appointments. I could list a bunch of reasons why this happened, but to be 100% honest, I just didn’t make it a priority. And that was that. But then a wild idea set in. I had heard of accounts where people had healed their cavities naturally. Maybe I could do this as well! And if so, this would save me hundreds of dollars (since I didn’t have dental insurance at the time) from the cost of filling each potential cavity.
[DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed dentist nor am I trained in orthopedics. The health approach below is experimental and not dentist approved. I simply am sharing my personal experience and findings, and my purpose is NOT to provide medical advice. Thus, the below experiment is not meant to replace a professional diagnosis from a trained orthopedic professional.]
So I scoured the internet, looking at article after article on how to heal cavities and tooth decay naturally. And I learned a LOT from this research, such as the common causes for tooth decay. There are the obvious ones, like over-consumption of processed sugars, gluten, and processed foods. But I also found foods high in phytic acids to be strong offenders. Phytic acids are seeds that fall into the following food groups:
-Whole grains (i.e Wheat, rice, barley)
-Legumes (i.e. Beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas)
-Nuts (i.e. Peanuts, almonds, walnuts)
-Oil Seeds (I.e. soybeans/tofu, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds)
-For more details on the above and a chart that breaks it all down, check this out.
No beuno. As a plant-based vegan, I consume a lot of the above. And I never thought much of it either! So what’s so bad about these phytic acid foods? This article states that "It’s often considered an anti-nutrient because it binds minerals in the digestive tract, making them less available to our bodies."
Therefore my first step was to strongly cut down on processed sugars and phytic acid-rich foods. I wasn’t fully ready to cut out whole grains, legumes, and nuts completely, as I know they still do serve health benefits, ( for example, the same article also states that "these same anti-nutrient properties can also help in the prevention of chronic disease"), but my goal was to increase my intake of whole fruits and vegetable so that these food groups would outweigh my intake of the others.
I found that another cause of tooth decay was a lack of minerals (such as a calcium or magnesium deficiency) and a lack of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K. Over and over again in my research, I kept finding the link between a vitamin D deficiency and cavities or tooth decay.
One resource I repeatedly kept seeing on how to heal tooth decay was the method by Weston Price, and the strategy involves adding fat soluble vitamins to your diet through fermented cod liver oil with a high vitamin butter oil blend in capsule form. And each time I found these articles, the experimenters claimed they were able to fully cure their signs of cavities within 4-6 weeks on average.
Houston, we have a problem! Attempting the Price method would involve abandoning my vegan path. It left me thinking, "There has to be another way"…
So I went to my local grocer Erewhon and bolted straight for the vitamin aisle. I talked to the store rep assigned to the supplements section and told him my current dilemma. "Oh yeah, the Weston price method." he said. Good, he knew what I was referring to. So I asked if there were any vegan alternatives for the fermented cod liver with butter oil. There were! He recommended to me a bottle of Algae Sourced Omega 3 capsules as well as a bottle of Vitamin D3 in iu 5000.
Which brings me to step 2 and 3: Take the above vitamins in the daily recommended amounts once a day, while also increasing my intake Kale and leafy greens to help with my potential calcium and vitamin deficiencies and using Omica Organics magnesium oil each night before bed.
The next part of my experiment was a strategy recommended strongly by friends - Oil pulling. This Ayurvedic practice is known for removing toxins and promoting healthy teeth and gums. For more info on oil pulling, check out my earlier post HERE:
I knew that to make this a consistent practice, I’d need to build it into one of my daily routines. So each morning, when waking up, I wouldn’t allow myself to brush my teeth or get dressed until I oil pulled for at least 20 minutes in the morning. Boom! So that was step 4.
And then the last step was to continue a healthy tooth care regimen - brushing 2-3 times daily and flossing at least 3 times per week, if not daily.
I knew that attempting this wild idea had its risks. The tooth decay could worsen—it could continue to eat away at the tooth and enamel. The cavity could grow deeper and hit a nerve, thus causing me to lose all feeling in the tooth. And the worst of it being losing the tooth completely and needing to have it extracted before the decay continued to spread. All scary outcomes, I know!
But something in my gut kept telling me that I had to try it. I had to know IF it was possible to heal tooth decay naturally. Since I did not have any signs of pain on the affected teeth, I decided to go for this wild idea, but only under the following circumstances:
I would test this for only 4 weeks tops (based on what I found the minimum average healing period to be under the Price method). If there were no signs of improvement after the 4 week mark, I would end the experiment.
If the experiment went successfully, I would schedule a dentist appointment to get a professional confirmation from a licensed dentist.
T H E R E S U L T S:
At the 4-week mark, one of the black 'cavity' spots on the bottom right molar had vanished. So I chose to continue the experiment, taking omega 3 and vitamin D3 supplements daily and oiling pulling each morning.
Then by week 6, two more of the black spots were fully gone. And finally, by week 7, my teeth were no longer showing any signs of cavities or tooth decay! But I had to be sure, so I called my dentist for the soonest available appointment. And right after the check up and my bi-annual cleaning, I walked out victoriously, cavity free!
Here are my Before and After pics:
So again, let me recap my wild tooth healing experiment below:
Step 1: Cut down on processed sugars and phytic acid rich foods
Step 2: Increase intake of vegetables (especially Kale and leafy greens) and fruits; Use Omica magnesium oil in recommended amount nightly
Step 3: Take algae sourced omega-3 and vitamin D3 capsules in the daily recommended amounts
Step 4: Oil pull with coconut oil for at least 20 minutes each morning
Step 5: Continue a healthy tooth care regimen (brushing and flossing)
I hope the above info helps, even if just to implement new practices to improve the current health of your teeth.
Nothing but smiles,