Dr. Weston Price (1870-1948) was an America dentist from Cleveland in the early 1900's. At the end of his practice he embarked on a research journey around the world to find out “what was a healthy diet” and what caused tooth decay. His findings laid the groundwork for proper nutrition and cavity free teeth, which your dentist will NOT tell you about during your office visit!
“While a primary quest was to find the cause of tooth decay which was established quite readily as being controlled directly by nutrition, it rapidly became apparent that a chain of disturbances developed in these various primitive racial stocks starting even in the first generation after the adoption of the modernized diet and rapidly increased in severity with expressions quite constantly like the characteristic degenerative processes of our modern civilization of America and Europe.” Dr. Weston Price in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
Who did he study?
Dr. Price traveled and studied the isolated and modernized Swiss, Gaelics, Eskimos, Peruvian Indians, Polynesians, Melanesians, African Tribes, Australian Aborigines, Torres Strait Islanders, New Zealand Maori, Ancient Civilizations of Peru, and the North American Indians. He observed the dietary habits of each group along with tooth health. For example, he found that the Swiss drank milk liberally (raw milk, cream and butter), about 2-4 cups milk per day or 3-6oz cheese, and they also consumed dark rye sourdough bread (fermented). The Swiss eating the traditional diet were free of tooth decay and dental deformities, and had immunity to disease (tuberculosis at the time).
The common theme was that when processed foods arrived in the food stream, the tooth decay rate increased from about 1% to around 30%. When the processed food diet was passed on to the next generation, teeth crowding and dental deformities became commonplace.
Dr. Price saw a large variation of foods among the groups he studied. According to Sally Fallon, president of the Weston Price Foundation:
- Some had a high intake of animal foods, some had a lower consumption.
- Some had more cooked foods where some had mostly raw foods.
- Some had fruits where as some had properly prepared grains.
- Some groups consumed dairy, some did not.
None of the traditional diets had:
- Food additives
- Vegetable oils or hydrogenated oils
- Canned food
- White flour
- High fructose corn syrup and refined sugar
- Low or reduced fat milks
- Protein powders
Common denominator in lowering the risk of tooth decay: a diet high in minerals and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K2)
Dr. Price took thousands of food samples from the indigenous groups that he visited, and he brought them back to his lab for nutrient analysis and compared them to processed foods that were quickly entering the modern food supply. He found that the traditional foods contained 10 times more fat soluble vitamins more and 2-4 times more minerals than a refined diet.
All the groups ate from these special food groups to get fat soluble vitamins:
- Grass-fed dairy
- Organs from land animals
- Organs from sea foods
- Use of sacred foods rich in fat soluble vitamins: vitamin rich butter, shark liver oil, and salmon roe.
What can you do to prevent tooth decay?
Fill in the "holes" in your diet with MORE fat soluble vitamins and mineral rich foods.
Get enough fat soluble vitamins:
- Vitamin D: Animal blood, beef fat, duck eggs, oily fish, and raw milk (not from supplements).
- Vitamin A: cheese, raw milk, butter and eggs (vitamin A is also subject to toxicity and can happen from food sources alone).
- Vitamin K2 (activator X according to Weston Price): Aged cheeses, grass- fed butter, high vitamin butter oil.
Get more minerals in your diet:
- Bone broth
- Fruits and easy to digest vegetables
- Grass fed butter and dairy products
- Balance intake of calcium and phosphorus
Be sure to check out the Price-Pottenger Foundation for more information about tooth decay. Additionally you can find Dr. Weston Price's book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration here.
Do you struggle with tooth decay? Please share in the comments!
Photo used with permission from The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation.
Nagel, Ramiel. Cure Tooth Decay: Remineralize cavities and repair your teeth with good food. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform: 2010.
Fallon, Sally. "Nourishing Traditional Diets - Sally Fallon - Full DVD #1." Online video clip. Youtube. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3ehzZ3yNyw
Price, Weston. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. 2002.
Nagel, Ramiel. "Cure Tooth Decay - Ramiel Nagel + Sally Fallon of the Weston Price Foundation." Online video clip. Youtube. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNP_QOWxoDk&list=TLerFu8nWjkRPGNFxhOjjMg08hC9e-YeAm
At this point, I think it is unreasonable to expect your dentist to share this info. Along with most of the general population, they are unaware.
You wouldn't say that to a regular body doctor....these people went to school for teeth and jaw health. They should know - no excuse!
I have been a dental hygienist for over 10yrs and I make it a priority to discuss diet with each patient of mine. I know from my own experiences that diet plays a huge role in oral health as well as total body health. I love reading posts like this because it just motivates me to keep talking about good eating habits and I do see the results in patients! People are really starting to care more about themselves and are searching for answers or at least direction....thanks for all your hard work on the blog and getting this information out there.
Bravo! Hopefully more & more dentists and other medical professionals will practice as you do 🙂
Hi Katie, where do you practice? I'm looking for a good dentist. Very hard to find one.
This is a great post. You totally had me until "animal eyes".
So I will disregard that and keep the rest in mind – after all we already know that most of those foods cause inflammation.
When my son Michael was around four years old, he was always fascinated when I baked a whole fish in the oven. He would insist on eating the eyes - which, by the time the fish was cooked, would be hard and white rather than jelly-like. He certainly had no competition for this delicacy! I've always loved organ meats (brains, liver, etc) which my grandmother used to cook frequently. I think that our bodies naturally crave that which is nutritious... that is, until they are ruined by refined commercial foods, additives, excess sugar and other baddies.
haha same here.. animal eyes and animal blood.. not so sure about that .. barf!
This is a great post! It is so important for people to know that what they eat affects more than their waistline. Of course, one should be healthy and maintain a healthy weight. However, even your teeth are affected by what we eat and I think this post, along with the study, really articulates the importance of good hygiene and diet. When combined, it can really eliminate greater problems and stress. Dr. Petrungaro in Chicago is the leader of immediate tooth replacement, providing patients with missing teeth, or tremendous decay, with dental implants. He advocates for healthy living so patients can save their natural teeth. http://www.petrungaro.com
Christopher S Johnson
Medicine used coconut oil as a mouthwash.
Tooth and gum infections respond quickly to the oil of oregano.
I have been cavity free my whole life. I was diagnosed 1 year ago with several autoimmune disorders including hashimotos and osteopenia. I feel like my teeth are beginning to get cavities now. I would love to use high vitamin butter oil but was told to stay away from all dairy. Do you have any other food suggestions to get these vitamins in my diet?
No worries because butter is not the same as "dairy" as in milk products. I wish I could remember the resource I just read this at, but please eat all the raw, grass fed BUTTER you can find and be well my friend!
I'm 27 years old and have never had so much as a cavity. I regularly brush 1-2 times a day and I hate to admit that I may floss once a month. I have a metabolic disorder called PKU in which I cannot break down protein properly so I have to maintain a special diet which includes strictly fruits and vegetables, with a protein supplement that leaves out the part of protein I cannot break down. I think this diet is why my teeth are the way they are!! This article just reassures me of that!
There is a company that makes a capsule containing fermented cod liver oil combined with high vitamin butter oil. They are quite costly but so is a root canal. Totally worth it if you just cannot eat liver etc.
I am a Dental Hygienist and I provide nutritional counseling to each of my patients. This article is not rocket sience and it is certainly not a secret, it's common sense. Your dentist shouldn't have to tell you this, anyone with a high school diploma should know this. Most dentists DO tell patients this, however, patients usually don't listen. They became Dentists to HELP people who need it, they certainly don't wish ill on them, and certainly don't "keep secrets" from them. Take ownership for your own diet choices.
I have been to four dentists and several hygienists in my life and have never had one ever mention diet concerns in relation to cavities, they just set up another appointment for filling the tooth. I have never had a dentist or hygienist talk to me about diet. Our culture does not ferment grains, but encourages eating them because they are "good" for you, it encourages low fat diets, and tells people that eating sugar coated cereals and granola is the healthy way to go, to satisfy their hunger cravings. It is not common knowledge, and yes your dentist should give you that information before filling the tooth.
Lone Voice in the Wilderness
i Agree. Never heard any dentist say this over 3 decades
I am a mom to 7 kids. We eat only our own raw dairy (butter, cheese, milk, yogurt), mostly garden grown or organic veggies and fruits, non-hormoned non-vaxed and non-antibiotic meat that we raise almost entirely on grass. I have good teeth and hubby has great teeth. Most of our kids have severe cavities in baby teeth but its getting better with permanent teeth. No formula in any of them, they brush before bed, honestly the only real down fall is the amount of sugar we use. We haven't had flouride in our water either. The connection i have made is the kids with the worst teeth battle parasites the worst.
I breastfed my 2nd child for a year and a half. I don't think she was getting much milk but she wouldn't drink cows milk or formula... VERY picky eater...I think she was missing a lot of nutrients and that's why she has some caveties on her front teeth 🙁 feel like a bad mom 🙁
Surely no child is born a "picky" eater you transfer your habits onto a perfect clean canvas. You are, I would guess, a very good mum but must start taking responsibility for your actions in front of your child. This is my opinion and I hope it doesn't offend you.
@phatmonkey .. ya, that was a little offensive.. you don't live here day to day so you have no clue what you are talking about. My oldest child was not a picky eater and I parent them exactly the same. Guess you wouldn't truly know unless you were also the parent of a picky eater.
Well I am very sorry for any offence I have caused I certainly didn't intend to offend. Being a child psychologist I have very set ideas about what causes children's behaviour and sometimes people do not want to hear it, which is fair enough. Am I correct in thinking you are from North America?
Psycho babble! Kids are born with their own personality! Yes they get stuff from family, but they are not a clean slate. That is ridiculous! Just observe a family and tell me they aren't born with their own personality. Haha get out in the real world and out of the books. Hope you aren't offended
Sorry but that is a high minded reply. Everyone's development is different especially in children. Their taste buds and oral sensitivites (textures of food, gum sesitivity from erupting teeth,etc) have alot to do with so called pickiness. Many children GROW out of it in time. So ease up will ya!!
Your'e not.(a bad mum that is))
@Melissa, can I ask if you breastfed? I had the same problem with my son..
I was raised on skim milk, stopped drinking as much when I turned about 20, mainly just milk in my coffee. 44, no cavities.
Think I'd rather have tooth decay than eat animal eyes...
I know I am going to get slack about what I say here .... but here goes!!!
When I was young and under the age 17, I brushed my teeth regularly like a good boy should. Shortly after 17 I had to live on the streets..... Needless to say I had very little opportunity to keep a healthy hygiene. I was not able to maintain such things when living on the street so I grew into a habit of not brushing my teeth!!
Now keep in mind the entire time this was happening I was drinking NOTHING but water....
I am 45 now.... I do not brush my teeth very often at all, certainly no where near as much as my wife who is a hygiene nut, and brushes her teeth 2 to 3 times a day.
My wife has several cavities and missing at least one tooth, she has been brushing her teeth since she was a little girl!! And she continues to get cavities yearly!!!!!!!!!
Again I haven't brushed my teeth in over 30 years... I feel and felt that the toothpastes were worse for my teeth then not using them. And as far as I am concerned I was right!!
As I said I am 45 and have NO CAVITIES!! NONE!! I do not brush my teeth at all... I do use dental flossers, and I drink A LOT OF WATER!!! I do not use mouth wash, I will use some coconut oil to help with my breath, though my breath really isn't that bad, as my wife can attest....
As far as diet goes.... I have eaten everything in the book in the last 30 years, for 20 years of that 30 I was not conscious of what I ate AT ALL!!! I ate sugary shit left and right, processed foods etc.. Now I eat nothing but organic.....
I say your diet has shit to do with your teeths health, just take care of them, floss them after each meal or when they annoy you. Drink lots of water.... SIMPLE!!!! Nothing complex needed here.... Oh and I only started the coconut oil this last year!
And just so you know... the water I been drinking now for 25 years is RO'ed, than distilled. So yes distilled water! Nothing but pure H2O = DISTILLED! Make sure you RO it before you distill it though.
Lone Voice in the Wilderness
Good. I know people who have great genes/DNA that factor into their superior dental health despite eating candy and processed sugars and not brushing at all. It might be your wife brushes with fluoride perhaps? Or her family history might factor into her dental health. So it might be tough to outright dismiss diet as a factor in your dental health.
My family has terrible teeth issues. So I would say the genetic disposition is there.. but I think genetics is just that, a slight disposition to be more susceptible to certain things.. not an outright disposition to get what ever it is. If that even makes sense!
Bottom line I think that every person can control all aspects of their lives no matter their genetic dispositions'!!!!
I think it's a given (in Australia anyway, which is where I live) that doctors and dentists don't generally have a wholistic attitude to health management. Nutritionists and natural therapists, on the other hand, see a healthy diet as integral to good health.. That is one reason why, as a former nurse and medical student, I decided to take matters into my own hands and learn all I could about nutrition, natural health and fitness. I've been putting these things into practice over the past decade and havve seen a steady improvement in my general health.
For the past six years or so, I've eaten a 70/30 whole foods diet. I'm not strict, I don't categorize myself as paleo, gluten free. Or anything like that. I simply eat whole foods, with the occasional processed food. I drink alcohol sometimes and I still eat potato chips. However, all dairy products I eat are full fat, I take high quality cod liver oil, I drink high quality bone broth and I eat mostly organic. I hadn't been to the dentist in 10 years, since high school. I wasn't a regular flosser and only brushed once a day. I was sure, when I finally did make an appointment with the dentist because a tooth was bothering me, that my mouth would be riddled with cavities. I didn't have a single one. The tooth that was bothering me was because an old filling from middle school was falling out. She said my teeth looked great. I had a slight bit of tartar build up that was easily cleaned away. I knew it was my diet- and the fact that I use a glycerin free toothpaste. (Earth paste) and I've been trying to convince my family members who have dental problems that it doesn't have to be that way. This article will be emailed to several in my family.
You had me until animal eyes...
Wow, this is such a great post, the food tips which are shared are so easily available and can be practiced easily with less cost. I am going to share this article as much as I can, Thank you very much this is a very helpful article I have come across today. I work in Dentistry and this can help me share knowledge to my patients. keep posting.