Late last week I felt a little like my world had imploded. I was inundated with information that was the unlocking of the proverbial Pandora’s Box. Rather like being a Christian all your life and suddenly finding you don’t believe in the dogma anymore. Yikes!
What you may ask had this effect on me? Ramiel Nagel’s book Cure Tooth Decay. In 250 pages the author, who is not a dentist but a health researcher, had destroyed or attempted to destroy all that I had known to be true for at least 35 years. I could casually dismiss everything he said but it was so well researched and the research answered some longstanding questions. I could not and would not dismiss it just because it wasn’t what I have been taught. Not what I had been taught and not what I am teaching because rightly or wrongly I stick to the party line in whatever office I am working in.
The Why of it All
After all my years of looking at patient’s teeth I am still in wonder that some people no matter what they do still get tooth decay. They floss every day if not twice a day, they brush religiously and watch what they eat and drink and still when they come for their exam and cleaning they leave disappointed by their dental needs. I have had people leave in tears, most notably a woman of about my own age who recently left tearful and discouraged.
She had done everything in the traditional practitioner’s book and still had a return visit required to repair new decay. We gave her a message of hope and told her not to despair but this bad news was just more bad news on top of other bad health news and she was not in the mood.
I might have approached her with some new ideas had I read Cure Tooth Decay earlier. I might not have proposed that it WILL cure tooth decay but that it MIGHT. Most of his ideas fall under the “well it can’t hurt” category and seem worth trying if only for a few weeks. I would never propose that a person with a tooth that hurts delay treatment because often if a tooth hurts it needed to be fixed yesterday (but the author does propose giving it some time).
What the Author Has to Say
Ramiel Nagel states, and there is plenty of research (check out his reference material at the end of every chapter) to prove his statement, that it may all come down to the parotid glands and their relative health. The parotid glands regulate the activity of the nutrient rich dentinal fluid and in some people parotid glands are very well-developed and in others they are not. This might explain why there are people who can drink a 6 pack of Mountain Dew a day and never have a cavity and others if they even look at that same 6 pack will have 6 areas of active decay.
He is also a believer in eating the right foods and while the diet would be very strict if watching what foods go in your mouth stopped decay wouldn’t it be worthwhile? He is an advocate of the principles touted by the Weston Price Foundation and he is especially fond of fermented cod liver oil and Factor X butter and lots of homemade bone broth to heal existing small areas of decay.
Mr. Nagel would have you eliminate anything with phytic acid and that includes whole wheat products, brown rice and unsoaked nuts like almonds. Don’t for one second think about drinking soda, fruit juice or battery acid (no just kidding on the battery acid) and forget about fluoride, it is a “poison”.
There is even a thyroid connection. The thyroid is regulated by the anterior pituitary gland. Often the relationship of the thyroid to the pituitary is not considered, leaving thyroid treatments ineffective. A malfunctioning thyroid also plays a role in producing tooth decay and gum disease because the thyroid plays a role in maintaining blood calcium levels. To repair thyroid function, the anterior pituitary gland usually needs attention. People on medications that affect their thyroid can have significant tooth decay problems often from lack of saliva to cleanse their teeth. Nagel also contends that people who have tartar are not assimilating their calcium and it is deposited on teeth instead of in bones where it is needed.
This information hits close to home. I form a lot of tartar on my teeth and I clean my teeth and gums regularly. When I have taken a NTx test I show bone loss of an alarming degree on a daily basis and this is no doubt connected to my ongoing battle with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. That alone might explain why I have so much tartar on my teeth despite my oral hygiene practices. I am grateful for a low rate of decay despite this malfunction but my diet is quite purposefully low in sugar and acid producing foods ( I don’t even like the taste of soda anymore).
What Should You Do?
I don’t know how to best answer that question other than by asking several questions of you the reader. Do you have a new area of decay every time you go to the dentist? Do you brush at least twice a day? Do you floss once a day? Do you drink soda and/or fruit juice of any kind? Are you a caramel or licorice fanatic? Do you use fermented cod liver oil or X-Factor Butter? What kind of toothpaste do you use? Do you employ a Water-Pik in your daily dental care? These are pretty basic questions and they would help me point you in the right direction but it may not be that simple.
There is one more important question. Are you open to new ideas? If so, read Cure Tooth Decay and take away any useful information you can employ in your day-to-day life. If you vehemently disagree with what the author says then go about your business as usual but you will never again think about dental health in the same way. I guarantee it. If you read the book and have questions, please ask. I have tried several of his suggestions and would happily hear from others who have or are thinking about it.
Events in the Coming Week
One more unrelated item before I close this week. Kathryn Niflis Johnson is holding a discussion group at her house in Woodbury, Minnesota on February 10th from 7:00-8:30. the topic is Thyroid/Adrenal Health and Dr. Paul Ratté is the featured speaker. Chloe Swan, my research buddy, and I will be there to add our two cents worth and we are looking forward to the sharing of ideas. If you live in the area and want to participate just click on the highlighted Thyroid and Adrenal Health and it will link you to the necessary information.