Our Teeth as a Reflection of Our Health

Often our teeth are treated as separate and not viewed as having anything to do with our overall health.

Fortunately there have been some amazing researchers who have conducted studies in the past – showing how closely tooth and body health are interrelated.

One of those researchers,  Ralph Steinman, DDS, performed numerous experiments on rats and mice to determine how tooth decay begins.  He injected a combination of glucose and fructose into the abdomen of rats and watched as it traveled directly to the pulp of the tooth where it began the decay process.  Dr. Steinman also discovered that the normal flow of nutrients is from the abdominal area into our teeth and then out into the mouth – which gives the teeth nutrition and cleanses them.  When he fed his rats sugar orally, that natural flow was reversed causing stagnation and decay to form on the inside of the tooth.

Dr. Steinman concluded from his experiments, that it may not be what is on the surface of the tooth, but what is allowed to penetrate into the tooth that brings about tooth decay.

Dr. Weston Price – another extensive researcher and pioneering holistic dentist – traveled to remote areas of the world to find what healthy people had in common.  What types of foods did they eat to keep them healthy?  He found consistently that as long as these people stayed on their native diets, without the influence of processed foods – they remained healthy and their teeth had very little decay if any.  He even discovered a tribe of people in Africa, who filed their teeth to points, but had no dental decay and that their teeth actually formed a protective  layer after the filing was done.

Both Dr. Steinman and Dr. Price viewed tooth decay as systemic illness.  They knew the foods that would keep our bones in our body healthy would also keep our teeth(bones) healthy.  The best foods for our bodies then, are also the best foods for our teeth:  good quality saturated fats, whole fat and raw dairy products, organ meats, oysters, mussels and non-starchy vegetables.  Just as our bones are capable of repair and regeneration, so are our teeth – with good nutrition.  Our teeth will always reveal to us – our state of health.

So, the next time you go to the dentist – be sure to ask if you can make an appointment with their nutritionist on staff.

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  1. You make a good point because I do plan to be the “nutritionist on staff.” I am a dental hygienist who happens to be working on becoming a certified holistic health counselor as well. The problem I see, though, is the limited time we have to motivate patients to floss their teeth, let alone change their diets. But that doesn’t prevent me from dispensing good solid Weston Price principles while my hands are in their mouths. I wish people would ask to make an appointment for nutritional information! Maybe if insurance companies would pay for that. . .

  2. I think you are in a great position to provide good nutritional information to patients while you are cleaning their teeth and I think people will get so much more benefit when they come to see you. Also the people that Weston Price studied, whose diets were traditional and without processed foods didn’t brush or floss – not that I think that will work today, but it does say a lot for the benefits of eating quality whole foods that are properly prepared. Thanks so much for your comment. I’m happy to hear that more good nutritional information is making its’ way into dental offices.

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