The remineralizing diet contained more minerals (calcium and phosphorus were targeted) and vitamins (namely vitamin D).
While already valuable, the specific gift that Drs. Mellanby bring to our work is how certain naturally occurring compounds, called phytic acid or phytates, act as ‘anti-nutrients’ in a way and inhibit our ability to absorb some minerals (that we need desperately).
So, while Dr. Price was in favor of consuming (in moderation) foods like whole wheat rolls (ok, baked fresh from freshly milled wheat with plenty of butter… drool), Drs. Mellanby suggested decreasing the consumption of foods higher in phytic acid to support greater mineral absorption.
You see, eating a diet high in grains, nuts, seeds, and beans (where we find naturally higher phytic acid) results in lower mineral availability. Back to step one… Increase minerals and vitamins.
Another important factor to their work is that they emphasized the importance of vitamin D. As you probably know, one of the many functions vitamin D has in our bodies is to increase the absorption of calcium from foods we eat. Increase vitamins and minerals…
Interestingly, the Mellanby’s showed that humans can eat a bit of sugar daily and still remineralize their teeth. However, if you really, really want to ramp up your ability to reverse tooth decay, best to slash sugar intake…
Manage your dentinal fluid flow…
The work of Dr. Ralph Steinman still stands as some of our favorite to study mobile dental unit. You can take a deeper dive into his work with our article, “Why teeth decay (and how to stop it)”
Steinman brought us the fact that our teeth actually have a flow of fluid through them, called ‘dentinal fluid flow’ which cleanses our teeth throughout each day. This fluid flows from inside our teeth ‘outward’ to remove microbes like strep mutans trying to cause decay.
However, this fluid flow can also reverse and become a ‘vacuum’ and give the bad bugs a free ride into our teeth (talk about a perfect storm for decay!)
The main factors Dr. Steinman found that cause the naturally healthy flow of fluid in our teeth to reverse and become destructive are…
High sugar diet
Stress – (we will address this lifestyle factor in a later article)
Yep, the truth isn’t always pretty. But we know you’d rather hear the truth than believe some fairy tale dental handpiece.
Takeaway gems to stop tooth decay…
So, with all this in place, let’s shake down some real time actions we can live by today.
Eat a really hearty meal at least once a day.
Limit the amount of sugary foods you eat as they can cause us to feel full but not provide any nutrition.
If/when we eat sweets, eat them with a meal. (Not between meals which provide the very worst conditions)
Watch your grains, nuts, seeds. There’s research that suggests phytic acid is health giving in some ways, so resist the temptation to go fanatic on this. Moderation is best unless you have gut issues that cause you to eliminate any of these.
Let’s close with a quote from Dr. Steinman that draws this all together…
“As unpopular as it might seem, the control of caries (cavities) may rest upon a way of life which would include sound nutrition, freedom from undue stress, sunlight, exercise and water. Having cake plus between meal snacks and healthy teeth, too, has so far eluded science.”
Next up we will explore how lifestyle and stress levels impact our oral health, for better or for worse.
So, what do you do to help you and your family stop cavities and reverse tooth decay? What is a wholesome meal that you enjoy to make/eat? Please share in the comments below so we can all learn from one another. Together Everyone Achieves More.Where Did Toothbrushes And Toothpaste Come From? for more information.