The modern system of dentistry is one that has both its backers and detractors, but one thing’s for sure: there’s a lot all of us have to learn about proper oral care. Even the healthiest people seem to get cavities or other dental problems often, and many of us have weakened teeth right now without even knowing it.
Dentists don’t deal a whole lot in nutrition, but making the right dietary choices can play a major role in preventing tooth decay, and even curing it according to author Ramiel Nagel, author of the popular book ‘Cure Tooth Decay,’ which outlines a specific protocol for, well, curing tooth decay, and remineralizing our teeth in general.
Nagel recently agreed to answer some questions about the state of modern dentistry, natural cavity cures, what vegans and vegetarians can do for healthy teeth specifically and much more. The interview is as follows:
AHW: How did you first begin learning about curing tooth decay naturally and what personal relevance does it have to you?
RN: I started researching tooth decay when my daughter’s tooth started crumbling apart around the age of 1.5 years. She was being breastfed and was never fed any processed sugar or flour. The “authorities” call tooth decay in children, baby bottle decay, claiming that the early tooth decay is caused by leaving sweet drinks on the child’s teeth from giving them juices in a bottle and allowing them to suck on it too long.
As responsible parents we called the local dentists to ask them what treatment options they had. The answers ranged from bad to horrible. I had a sense that the treatments offered did not reach the cause of the tooth decay, so I began researching for alternatives.
AHW: According to your book people are getting tooth decay at younger and younger ages now. What is the main culprit in your eyes, is it more about lack of nutrition or consuming foods that are harmful to teeth?
RN: The information I present in my book, “Cure Tooth Decay,” represents what I believe in but is based on the life’s work of different dentists and researchers. I use historical research from dentists Weston Price, and Melvin Page, among others to show that tooth decay is a symptom of a nutritional deficiency and a body chemistry imbalance.
When the underlying nutritional deficiency is resolved, then the tooth decay halts and the teeth get harder. To answer the question, both eating a diet deficient in life giving vitamins and minerals, and eating too many foods that deplete the body of minerals like processed sweets / sugar cause physical degeneration.
AHW: What is the most important thing people can do today to start protecting themselves from tooth decay? Also what does modern dentistry get most wrong about the causes?
RN: The most important thing people can do to protect themselves from tooth decay is add a concentrated source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K to their diet from whole foods. The simplest way to do that is with Green Pasture’s Royal Blend which can be purchased here. Just adding a whole food vitamin D concentrate to the diet such as with Green Pasture’s fermented cod liver oil will reduce people’s rates of cavities by at least 47% as proved by several studies on the effect of vitamin D on tooth cavities.
What modern dentistry gets wrong is that it blames bacteria for tooth decay. It’s not what bacteria eat that cause tooth decay, it’s what we eat.
AHW: Can most cavities be “cured” to the point where they don’t need to be filled in your opinion and according to your research in the book? Or is the goal more to stop the decaying process itself so no further damage is done, or a little bit of both?
RN: Many people are confused about what a cavity is. So it is important to understand that rarely does a dental procedure, which is tooth surgery, cure the problem of tooth decay. The problem of tooth decay is hidden or covered up by dental surgery, and the problem continues. That is why on average fillings last somewhere between 5-12 years depending on the material used and study done. Once the tooth is remineralized by addressing the nutrient deficiency, it is a case by case basis on whether it needs any type of physical restoration to make the tooth more sound.
Remineralized teeth require little or no drilling. It’s a bit confusing for people because most dentists are overzealous with their drilling. A significant portion of cavities dentists identify are tiny holes in the teeth. Some are already even remineralized. Usually it makes more sense to leave the tiny holes as is when the teeth harden.
AHW: In regards to the Weston A. Price model of nutrition, it seems like there are people that are great believers in it and others who are a bit skeptical. What about it is most convincing to you?
RN: I am not sure what people believe in, or what people are skeptical in. The message of Weston Price is that modern food causes a multitude of diseases, physical, and mental and causes suffering and pain to our bodies. It makes birth difficult, and our children’s bodies less fit to survive.
There is no doubt about it and Dr. Price was a meticulous researcher and if I understand it correctly, he took 60,000 food samples and 18,000 photographs to support his case. Modern science today calls it epigenetics. People who are skeptical either haven’t reviewed the evidence completely, or are too much stuck in the rule following mentality where they believe in a distorted interpretation of medical science in which the causes of degenerative diseases are blamed on DNA strands.
AHW: The Cure Tooth Decay protocol recommends a lot of raw grass fed dairy, seafood and meat, but you also offer a vegetarian plan. What about vegans, have you seen studies regarding their teeth? Also, do you think a protocol could be developed for them (I know you mentioned that it can be tough due to the lack of minerals in American soil compared with, say, Indian soil)?
RN: I do know some vegans who are very careful with what they eat, and they even to some degree have looked pretty healthy, and the children seem healthy and happy. And it is just a matter of time, their older daughter finally got cavities in her adult teeth. The vegan diet is unhealthy for children. Adults who have good bone structure and who grew up on a hardy diet including lots of animal foods can get away with being vegan for a long time. I respect people’s dietary choices, even if they are harming themselves. I simply suggest if people are not getting the health benefits they want to try something else.
I would say I advise people include seafood and humanely raised animal foods in their diet. But the amount eaten doesn’t have to be extreme. A modest amount of protein is fine. (Editor’s note: Click here to see more of Nagel’s thoughts on the vegan diet and dental health; he says he is a former vegan himself).
AHW: It seems like everyone has a healthy distrust of modern dentistry over things like fluoride and damaging root canals, yet alternatives are still so hard hard to find. When do you think we’ll start seeing real fundamental changes and more holistic options?
RN: There are not alternatives to these procedures from the conventional perspective. Root canals are almost always over prescribed and it’s actually fairly rare when a tooth truly needs a root canal. Alternatives to fluoride are easy to find because fluoride is just a poison that temporary provides a small protection for the tooth.
I think what people don’t realize because it no longer is advertised this way, is that the surgical perspective that dentists offer is supposed to be a last resort. It is meant to keep people out of pain, not cure them of their problems. We’ll start seeing real fundamental changes in dentistry when the people demand it, when the laws accept it, and when there are dentists who want to practice it.
AHW: What is the most promising development in holistic or integrative dentistry you’ve seen, or you see on the horizon?
RN: The future of dentistry is where the “dentist” knows how to work with and listen to the patients bodies using tools like cranial-sacral therapy. This is a way where treatment options and results can be evaluated in a multi-dimensional way. Until dentists become body workers, few have any idea of how their dental treatments are harming people’s bodies. Truly holistic dentistry would be addressing the causes of dental disease through diet, supplements, Chinese medicine, cranial-sacral therapy and chiropractic work. Most dental disease and gum disease can be addressed through these means in a preventative fashion.
There are a few dentists in the world who try to limit or avoid dental drilling. In other words they seek to find the cause of the patients cavities, and not remedy it from surgery. From my perspective, truly integrative dentistry is rare to non-existent. Dr. Briener’s Whole Body Dentistry sheds light on what holistic dentistry can look like (learn more at www.wholebodymed.com). It is rare to find a dentist who practices as described in his book.
Another promising aspect of dentistry is growth enhancing orthodontics. That is where the growth and development of a child is aided by dental appliances. The two most exciting appliances are the ALF, the Advanced Lightwire Functional expansion appliance, and the SOMA dental appliance.
Both of these appliances when used by a skilled practitioner can help improve the patients airway and bite articulation. This makes people stronger and more vibrant.
Many forms of dental braces restrict the natural growth pattern of childhood. They also clamp down on the cranial bones and restrict their movement. Conventional orthodontics are generally barbaric and harmful. Now all conventional methods and treatments are harmful, it depends on the case and the goals of the treatment. I predict that in 10-20 years from today restrictive forms of orthodontics will be considered today like we consider surgery without anesthesia from the past, as barbaric.
There are also new and better filling materials that are more inert and biocompatible. These would be available through a holistic or biological dentists. Just remember, nothing can yet replace the design, strength, and quality of your natural tooth.
AHW: Special thanks to Ramiel for joining us. You can check out his book ‘Cure Tooth Decay’ by clicking on this link.