Tag Archives: Dentistry

Case History: “A True Healing Miracle”

This week, I’d like to share a case history with you as it’s presented in David and Linda Freud’s recent book, The Healing Gift.

Linda is a medical intuitive I have known for some time. And what is a “medical intuitive”? As the book description explains, “Like a forensic psychic brought in to solve a crime, a medical intuitive is a medical psychic detective, brought in to find the hidden causes of medical conditions that have eluded conventional doctors and diagnostic lab tests.”

For the case recounted below, Linda referred a gentleman to me who had been diagnosed with heart disease, which she found had been influenced by dental conditions – particularly the presence of mercury and nickel, along with associated oral galvanism. As you will see – and as the gentleman, a rabbi, declared after treatment – “I have witnessed a true healing miracle of God…that has had a major impact on my physical health as well as on an emotional and spiritual level.”


From The Healing Gift by David Freud with Linda Freud (Basic Health Publications, 2010):

This story about Rabbi Moshe, an esteemed rabbi and scholar of Kabbalah living in Jerusalem, demonstrates the unique power of Linda’s gift. Rabbi Moshe had been experiencing shortness of breath and rapid heart beat for the last several years. In May 2001 a treadmill electrocardiogram showed that he experienced tachycardia and arrhythmia during physical exertion due to a significant oxygen deficiency caused by decreased circulation in the coronary arteries due to a buildup of arterial plaque. The test showed that he was experiencing chest pain accompanied by shortness of breath.

Step 1. The first health reading with Linda.
Rabbi Moshe’s first channeling session in December 2002 during a trip to Los Angeles revealed an array of health issues affecting his cardiovascular system:

  1. Mercury, nickel, and lead toxicity from fillings and bridges (cofactors for tachycardia).
  2. Dangerously high electrical current coming from a tooth (a cofactor for tachycardia).
  3. Fungal proliferation/gastrointestinal dysbiosis/acid pH.
  4. Poor circulation/insufficient oxygen.
  5. Excess cholesterol and oxidation of cholesterol due to the proliferation of free radicals.
  6. Mineral and trace mineral deficiencies.
  7. Emotional stress and exhaustion.

Linda channeled that dental issues were having a profoundly negative effect on the rabbi’s heart. When she got out her tooth chart she went over each tooth searching for heavy metals. She channeled that the remnants of both mercury and nickel had not been properly removed in two of his lower right molars (17 and18), which Rabbi Moshe mentioned were underneath what was part of a five-tooth bridge. Because he was set to return back to Israel the next day, Linda channeled one name from a list of biological dentists in Israel and stressed that upon his return Rabbi Moshe should have the dentist remove two other mercury amalgam fillings as part of the healing process. However, upon further channeling, Linda insisted that the Israeli dentist was incapable of safely removing the remaining mercury and nickel in teeth 17 and 18 under the bridge. That would have to wait until the rabbi returned to Los Angeles a few months later when he could see a specific dentist whom she recommended. This was Dr. Vernon Erwin, D.D.S., a talented biological dentist in the Los Angeles area whom Linda channeled was the right dentist not only for his technical brilliance, but also because he works closely with Linda on tough cases. As we will soon see, this bit of information proved to be critical.

Step 2. Treatment protocols.
Linda recommended a range of different natural cardiovascular remedies, which Rabbi Moshe took for the next six months. These included red yeast extract (to help lower LDL cholesterol), CoQ10, magnesium aspartate, taurine, mild cayenne pepper, and hawthorn berry extract. Other supportive products included an antioxidant, homeopathic fungal remedies, a green drink, probiotics, a liquid trace mineral formula, a lymphatic drainage remedy, a liver detox, a stabilized oxygen product, gem essences (for emotional stress), homeopathics for miasms, and a channeled anti-candida diet.

Step 3. Follow-up tests in Israel.
Upon his return to Israel, Rabbi Moshe immediately underwent a blood test prior to beginning the protocols Linda channeled. The test confirmed exactly what she had detected. Rabbi Moshe was still exhibiting an elevated level of cholesterol as well as a poor ratio of healthy HDL to harmful LDL cholesterol. The results of another treadmill test were reviewed by the chief cardiologist at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. He declared the rabbi’s health precarious and relayed that the recent stress teat proved he had significant coronary disease. The rabbi was experiencing tachycardia during physical exertion due to a significant oxygen deficiency caused by decreased circulation in the coronary arteries. When the rabbi expressed his interest in exploring alternative methods of treating his heart condition, the cardiologist became quite furious and declared in front of the rabbi’s wife, “I guarantee if you take that approach you will be a dead man within two years.” He urged the rabbi to immediately undergo an angioplasty procedure and also prescribed Lipitor.

After carefully weighing the risks versus rewards of this course of treatment, the rabbi decided to follow his gut instincts and continue on the path that he had started with Linda. His own research led him to conclude that the doctor’s approach to managing his case did not address the root causes of his heart condition that Linda had channeled (heavy metal toxicity, oxidized cholesterol, and dental electronconductivity issues). In addition, he reasoned that he could avoid angioplasty if he addressed these underlying issues and that his cholesterol issues could be effectively managed through a combination of dietary modification and supplements.

Step 4. Confirmation of Linda’s evaluation by Dr. Vernon Erwin, D.D.S.
When Rabbi Moshe flew back to Los Angeles a few months later with his dental records, I accompanied him to see Dr. Erwin. I explained to Dr. Erwin that Linda was concerned about the correlation between the rabbi’s teeth and his heart. After taking a new full-mouth panorex x-ray, Dr. Erwin measured the level of current in the bridge that contained teeth 17 and 18 utilizing an amperage metering device. Dr. Erwin was quite astonished when he tested tooth 18 and the device registered 53 microamps. He told me in the 40 years he had conducted this test, that this was one of the highest readings he had ever seen! A normal level of current coming off a tooth is usually 2 to 3 microamps. He then mentioned that the exact location of the abnormally high current was dangerously close to the vagus nerve, which leads directly to the heart. I will never forget when he said to Rabbi Moshe, “Well, of course you are having heart problems. Your heart is being electrocuted 24/7.”

Then Dr. Erwin completely removed the old bridge, including all of the mercury and nickel that Linda had identified. After the procedure was completed, he paused for a moment and said, “Since the rabbi came all the way from Israel to have this done, perhaps we should have Linda come over just to make sure that all the toxic metals were completely removed.”

After Linda arrived, she got out a tooth chart and her pendulum. With her left index finger over tooth 17 on the chart, the pendulum, which she was holding in her right hand, spun to the right, indicating that the tooth was clear of all mercury and nickel. She then put her finger over tooth 18. When she asked if this tooth was now free of mercury, the pendulum spun affirmatively to the right. However, when she asked if tooth 18 was free of all nickel, the pendulum swung to the left, indicating nickel was still in the root area of the tooth. Dr. Erwin then checked to see if he could visually confirm what Linda was getting. After taking a close look, he told her he could not see any remaining nickel. She checked again with the pendulum and told him she was still getting the same information.

Dr. Erwin decided to do some more exploratory drilling to see if he could uncover the nickel. After drilling a while, he told Linda he still did not see anything. She checked again and reported that she was still getting the same results: toxic nickel was still there. “Keep drilling toward the anterior side of tooth 18 between 2 and 3 o’clock and you will find it,” she told Dr. Erwin. He did as she suggested and a minute later announced in an excited voice that he had found it and cleaned it out. Linda then confirmed that the nickel had indeed been completely removed from tooth 18.

Dr. Erwin was completely astonished by what had just happened. He remarked that the nickel had completely ionized very deep in the root area and looked like black soot. Rechecking the x-rays, he told me that what Linda had channeled had been completely undetected by the x-ray because the nickel had ionized into a sootlike substance. He then declared that if Linda had not told him twice to keep drilling, the entire procedure would not have been a success. The whole time the rabbi was sitting in the dental chair, he was aware that he was witnessing an authentic miracle of healing. He remarked in front of us, “Thank you God for allowing this miracle to happen.” Upon a follow-up visit with Linda the next day, the rabbi reported that the tachycardia had completely ceased. Linda channeled that as a result of this one procedure the vitality of his heart had improved 35 percent!

Step 5. Follow-up care.
After returning to Israel, Rabbi Moshe continued on a regime of supplements that strengthened his heart function and reduced cholesterol and triglycerides before successfully completing a heavy metal detoxification program Linda designed. One year later Rabbi Moshe was feeling much stronger and the shortness of breath had essentially disappeared. Of Linda’s healing gift, Rabbi Moshe stated, “I have witnessed a true healing miracle of God through his angels that has had a major impact on my physical health as well as on an emotional and spiritual level.”

Dr. Erwin said of the miracle that he witnessed: “We send our thanks and blessings to Linda Freud for her help and cooperation in this fascinating case. Without her mastery in the area of health we could not practice with the precision required to help our patients recover their health. Her observations and revelations were 100 percent accurate and 100 percent helpful in my treatment of the dental condition of Rabbi Moshe.”



Filed under Biological Dentistry, Mercury

Why Do We Have Two Sets of Natural Teeth in Our Lifetimes?

Did you see the news item last week about the UK baby born with two front teeth? Premature tooth eruption is something of a rarity, occurring about once in every couple thousand births. But unless it’s linked to some other medical condition, it’s usually not of much concern beyond the discomfort it can cause a breastfeeding mother and the risk of choking, should the teeth come loose early, as well.

This last point might make you wonder: Why do we lose our first teeth at all – those “baby teeth” or “milk teeth,” as most people call them but which dentists call “deciduous” or “primary” teeth? Why do we have two sets of natural teeth in our lifetimes?

The Wikipedia explanation is concise and as good as any:

Deciduous teeth are considered essential in the development of the oral cavity by dental researchers and dentists. The permanent teeth replacements develop from the same tooth bud as the deciduous teeth; this provides a guide for permanent teeth eruption. Also the muscles of the jaw and the formation of the jaw bones depend on the primary teeth in order to maintain the proper space for permanent teeth. The roots of deciduous teeth provide an opening for the permanent teeth to erupt. These teeth are also needed for proper development of a child’s speech and chewing of food.

Since the infant human skull is too small to hold a full set of adult teeth, the 20 primary teeth serve as sort of placeholders until the jaw and skull are developed enough to hold up to 32 permanent teeth. As they make way, the primary teeth become loose and eventually fall out.

Many cultures have traditions marking this rite of passage – an important developmental step on the road to adulthood. In some Eastern societies, the baby tooth is thrown in a symbolic direction while making a wish. In the West, we have the Tooth Fairy and similar figures for whom children leave their teeth under their pillow, in a glass of water or even buried in the ground, and expect money or some other gift in return.

Judging from the sheer number of online discussions about the matter, it seems that the money question – “How much?” – causes parents no small amount of worry. According to Delta Dental of Minnesota’s last poll on the matter, amounts vary widely. While, nationally, the average was $2.13 per tooth, this included a low of 5 cents per tooth and a high of $50 (!) per tooth. (Rates can be tracked on DDM’s website devoted to the matter.) At least one parenting blogger has done her own poll, which showed a little lower overall average: $1.15 per tooth, with a top rate of $5.

More interesting to me in these discussions, though, were the suggestions of ways to make the rite of passage just a little more special, such as these from a parenting column on St. Louis Today:

My husband and I have the perfect solution for the Tooth Fairy: a foreign currency. Our now-useless collection of lira and shekels delight our children. Since the advent of the Euro, there is no exchange rate. Many of the foreign coins are quite fun to look at. Additionally, we pick ones with holes or pretty images to slip under the pillow. We even ask friends to pick a couple up while traveling. I love to hear my son brag to his friends that he received 1,000 Lira for his first tooth. — Amy Gholson in Creve Coeur

* * *

At our house, the Tooth Fairy leaves a freshly ironed $1 bill for each tooth that is under the pillow. Somehow, the crispness of the bill has made it more special. — B. Roesch in St. Louis

The columnists also added some ideas of her own:

Start your own family traditions by leaving a little glitter or confetti under their pillows, alongside some coupons for a special treat or a movie. If either of them likes to draw, art pencils or markers could be fun. Small electronic games, tiny cars or planes, puzzles and the above suggestions are other fun ideas. It can be whatever you feel would be a unique token of your love and caring. It’s nice to make the event special but don’t worry about making it perfect. Just have fun with your children.

But what if the Tooth Fairy forgets to stop by? There are some creative tips out there for finessing that situation, as well.

So, how about you? What traditions did your family have when you were a kid and lost a tooth? What did the Tooth Fairy leave for you? If you have kids and a Tooth Fairy who deals in cash for teeth, how much does she pay? Or does she offer something other than money? If you’ve missed a visit, how did you cover up for it?

I encourage you to share your own experiences and opinions in the comments.

Images by Lucy and wakefielddavid, via Flickr

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What Does a Smile Say?

The human smile sets us at ease. People who don’t smile openly are considered unapproachable, unlikeable and even dangerous. Yet the same expression by an animal signals danger.

Why does it signal safety when we humans smile? Charles Martin DDS, of the Richmond Smile Center, decided to find out.

Smiling, as it turns out, is related to sound, according to research by John J. Ohala, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. Ohala discovered that words sound better to humans when accompanied by a smile.

A smile gives the speaker’s voice a higher pitch. Humans associate lower-pitched voices – like those of larger, more threatening animals – with danger, while higher voices are typically found in smaller animals. Over time, the visual cue of a wide smile has become connected with the sound of a higher pitched voice. Therefore, a smile conveys an absence of danger.

“We see an example of this in babies,” Dr. Martin explained. “Babies respond more favorably to female voices, which are higher pitched than deeper, louder male voices. That’s why we see grown men instinctively change their voices when speaking to babies.”

Though adults don’t respond as strongly to higher voices and smiles, we do tend to gravitate toward a smile. In fact, the sound of a voice accompanied by a smile is now so firmly ingrained in the human subconscious as safe and cheerful that a smile alone can make us feel good about someone.

“Showing our teeth through smiling tells people we’re friendly and makes them comfortable being around us,” said Dr. Martin. “How does the world view us if we refuse to smile, even if that refusal is simply due to being self-conscious about a less than perfect smile? A smile, or lack thereof, sends a very distinct message to other people.”

Adapted from a Richmond Smile Center media release, via PRNewswire.

Image by Jen Marquez, via Flickr

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SoCal City Says No to Mercury Amalgam, Yes to Nontoxic Alternatives

Hooray for the Costa Mesa City Council for taking a stand against mercury fillings. May other cities here in California and beyond follow their lead.

Here’s the news from Charles Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice:

California City Says Stop Dental Amalgam Immediately

Costa Mesa, California has become the first city in the United States to call for an immediate end to dental amalgam, the controversial filling material that is 50% mercury. Voting 5-0 on 19 October 2010, the Costa Mesa City Council adopted the resolution (PDF) sponsored by Councilman Gary Monahan that (1) calls on federal and state agencies to eliminate amalgam, (2) asks dentists in Costa Mesa to cease using mercury and switch to non-toxic alternatives, and (3) requests that the other 33 cities in Orange County join Costa Mesa in opposing dental mercury. While as a resolution, it does not actually ban amalgam, it is an important step toward ending this health and environmental scourage.

“There are so many alternatives and I can’t understand why we’re putting this in our mouth,” explained Councilman Monahan. “[I]t’s incredibly dangerous to people getting them and to the environment.”

The watershed Monahan Resolution is the first success for Californians for Green Dentistry, a new project of Consumers for Dental Choice. Californians for Green Dentistry has a trio of dedicated leaders: Director Anita Vazquez Tibau spearheaded the strategy leading to this resolution along with dental hygienist Marisa Russo and naturopath Kristy Mills.

Since July, our hardworking California volunteers distributed handouts alerting the public to the problem of dental amalgam, gained the support of numerous local health professionals and businesses, and collected hundreds of signatures on petitions to city council. In response, the Costa Mesa City Council granted us the hearing to address dental mercury. At the city council hearing, our talented team – including dentists, health professionals, injured consumers, scientists, advocates, and even former Californian Dental Board member Dr. Chet Yokoyama – offered poignant testimony calling for a ban on dental mercury.

Our story is told by video that can be viewed by clicking here, and dentist Dr. Jim Rota’s compelling testimony can be viewed in full by clicking here. We also made the front page of the local news, which can be read online.

It’s time to take this primitive and polluting mercury product off the market, and we can start in the trend-setting state of California! If you are a Californian and want to join the Californians for Green Dentistry team in the fight against dental mercury, please write Anita and me at announcements@toxicteeth.org. Let us know your name, home county, and home city.

No matter where you are from, please thank Costa Mesa Councilman Gary Monahan for standing up to protect our communities, and especially our children, from dental mercury. He can be reached by email at gmonahan@ci.costa-mesa.ca.us.

Congratulations Costa Mesa, California!

– Charlie

Charles G. Brown, National Counsel
Consumers for Dental Choice
316 F St. NE, Suite 210
Washington, DC 20002


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Filed under Dentistry, Mercury

Tell the FDA What You Think of Mercury

Earlier this week, we got a reminder from Charlie Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice that the online commenting period is open for FDA’s December hearings on mercury amalgam. More info – along with some fascinating history about opposition to mercury in medicine – is below in Charlie’s letter.

Civil War Surgeon General Was Court-Martialed for Ordering End to Mercury

Sometimes we must all pause and ask: Why do the pro-mercury dentists resist change so vociferously? Why do these protectors of a primitive, polluting product put quick-and-easy profits ahead of patient health, the environment, and worker safety? It’s tempting to say such resistance is unprecedented.

Not so.

Last week, I toured the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland. While at the museum, I bought its book about Civil War medicine: Death in the Breeze by Bonnie Brice Dorwart, M.D. Mercury’s use was so prevalent, and even then so controversial, that the author devotes two chapters just to mercury – prescribed by physicians in that era to treat soldiers for dysentery, typhoid, malaria, pneumonia and syphilis.

Some physicians opposed pushing mercury onto unsuspecting patients. In fact, an early hero of the mercury-free movement was none other than the Surgeon General of the United States himself, William A. Hammond. Realizing that mercury should have no role in medicine, Hammond courageously issued General Order #6 on May 4, 1863, banning its use by Army physicians. But by issuing an order to protect soldiers from dying from mercury toxicity, Hammond signed his own political death warrant. Immediately, the medical establishment started calling for his ouster. The American Medical Association assigned delegates from every state to work against Order #6. On August 18, 1864, the AMA’s smear campaign succeeded: Surgeon General Hammond was court-martialed and cashiered out.

The American Medical Association defeated Hammond, but could not defeat the truth. More dissident physicians sprung up to oppose mercury, including the renowned Boston poet-physician Oliver Wendell Holmes (the father of the famous judge). Surgeon General Hammond was ultimately vindicated. Today, the Civil War use of mercury as a tonic is ridiculed. In the prologue to Dr. Dorwart’s 2009 book, Dr. H. Ralph Schumacher Jr., Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, states: “Many therapies such as purging and mercury may have hastened death.” Then he adds, prophetically: “What will our successors think of our efforts 150 years from now?”

Future generations not only will condemn the American Dental Association for implanting a neurotoxin into the human body, but no doubt they will resent cleaning up after the irresponsible dentists who polluted our planet with mercury. However, like Surgeon General Hammond, we now have the opportunity to stand up publicly against mercury abusers. Then it was the medical establishment; today it is the dental establishment.

In preparation for the hearings on dental amalgam to be held in December, FDA is accepting public comments online. Speak out for mercury-free dentistry by clicking here to submit a comment. Tell FDA about:

  • Your injuries caused by amalgam,
  • Your children’s exposure to mercury,
  • How your mercury fillings were implanted without your informed consent,
  • How bad dental mercury is for the environment,
  • How deceptive FDA’s dental amalgam website is, or
  • Any other concerns relating to mercury fillings.

You might want to tell FDA, too, that the American Medical Association did all that it could to protect mercury in the 19th century, endangering countless lives. Now the ADA is doing all it can to protect mercury in the 21st century. Will FDA stand up to the American Dental Association like Surgeon General Hammond stood up to the American Medical Association, or will FDA continue to defend mercury implanted in children’s teeth?

Charles G. Brown
National Counsel, Consumers for Dental Choice
President, World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry
17 August 2010

To learn more about the public comment process, see the FDA info page on comments.

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Why Tongue Piercings Aren’t So Cool for Your Teeth & Gums

Most fashion trends seem to come and go pretty quickly, but not tongue piercing…much to the dismay of parents and dentists.

Yes, dentists.




For tongue piercing can cause a number of dental problems, starting with infection, which can spread to other parts of the body via the bloodstream. Occasionally, such an infection can spread to the brain, killing the patient.

More common are gum problems and broken teeth caused by the habit of playing with the piercing – flicking the tongue around the oral cavity, hitting both teeth and gums. This repeated trauma can damage the periodontal tissues and crack or break the teeth.

Recently, a case report surfaced that illustrates another potential risk of the playing habit: orthordontic problems.




The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, described the case of a 26 year old woman who repeatedly played her piercing against her upper front teeth. By the end of 7 years of pushing the stud up and against her front teeth, a significant diastema – a gap between her front teeth – had formed where none was before.

As the study’s lead author, Sawsan Tabbaa, DDS, describes it,

The barbell is never removed because the tongue is so vascular that leaving the stud out can result in healing of the opening in the tongue…so it makes perfect sense that constant pushing of the stud against the teeth – every day with no break – will move them or drive them apart.

Thanks to orthodontic treatment, the patient’s smile was restored to its original, non-gappy look.


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Filed under Dental Health, Oral Health

Nutrition & Your Amazing, Self-Healing Teeth

When people ask how I became a holistic dentist, I like to tell them that I was born into it. My mother was committed to natural health and holistic living, so that was the environment I grew up in. Eating a nutrient-rich, whole foods diet, getting plenty of physical activity, balancing work and play – these were the norm. It was only natural, then, that holism would inform my work as a dentist.

So I practice what I preach (and what was preached to me), so to speak, and encourage my staff to do the same. After taking a recent nutrition seminar, for instance, all of us in the office adopted the detox diet we’d learned about. No, detox isn’t just for those who show symptoms of illness. After all, we live in a toxic world. Even if you make all the best, most healthful choices, you’re still exposed each day to countless pollutants through each breath you take. We can all benefit from detoxing now and again, coming away, as my staff and I did, with renewed energy and a heightened sense of physical well-being.

Once upon a time, many used to think that nutrition was beyond the scope of dentistry. Only holistic and biological dentists commonly offered nutritional counseling as we helped chronically ill patients heal from the effects of mercury fillings or other toxic dental materials, focal infections or cavitations. But as many conventional dentists are finally starting to see, nutritional counseling and support can and do play a part in general dental health, as well. And it’s not just about avoiding sugar so you don’t get cavities. It’s also about how key nutrients such as minerals, antioxidants and Vitamin D support strong teeth and healthy gums and bone.

What’s more, not only does a good diet help prevent tooth decay. It can even reverse it once it’s begun.

It’s important to remember that your teeth aren’t just solid, static structures in your mouth. They’re living organs – just as your liver, lungs and heart are living organs. Under the hard enamel covering each tooth is the dentin. It consists of miles – yes, miles! – of microscopic tubules containing fluid and cellular structures. Below that is the pulp, which is made up of living connective tissue and odontoblasts – cells that create dentin. Both dentin and pulp are also rich in nerves, which is why your tooth will start to hurt when there’s deep decay or other damage.

Early in the 20th century, the great dental researcher Dr. Weston Price did some impressive research on the effects of diet on dental health. In studying various native populations around the world, he found that shifts from traditional diets to non-traditional Western diets rich in refined flour and sugar commonly led to oral changes such as smaller, narrower arches that led to the crowding of teeth. It also increased cavities. But it also worked the other way around. That is, he found that a diet rich in minerals and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and low in phytic acid promoted remineralization of the dentin, thereby reversing the course of tooth decay. (Phytic acid is main storage form of phosphorous. Its found in many plants, but humans can’t absorb it since we lack the enzyme needed to break it down.) As Dr. Price wrote in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,

The chemical analysis of the saliva revealed a marked improvement which progressively increased. At the beginning of the test the average for the group showed a very low factor of safety, so low that we should expect tooth decay to be active. In six weeks, the average changed to a condition which we should expect would be accompanied by a cessation of tooth decay. The saliva factor of safety continued to improve for five months at which time the program was discontinued for the summer.

Several incidents of special interest occurred. Two different teachers came to me to inquire what had been done to make a particular child change from one of the poorest in the class in capacity to learn to one of the best. Dental caries is only one of the many expressions of our modern deficient nutritions.

Similar findings were published by Drs. Edward and May Mellanby. Stephan Guyenet at Whole Food Source offers a good discussion of their research:

When enamel is poorly formed and the diet isn’t adequate, enamel dissolves and decay sets in. Tooth decay is an opportunistic infection that takes advantage of poorly built or maintained teeth. If the diet remains inadequate, the tooth has to be filled or removed, or the person risks more serious complications.

Fortunately, a decaying or broken tooth has the ability to heal itself. Pulp contains cells called odontoblasts, which form new dentin if the diet is good. Here’s what Dr. Edward Mellanby had to say about his wife’s research on the subject. This is taken from Nutrition and Disease:

Since the days of John Hunter it has been known that when the enamel and dentine are injured by attrition or caries, teeth do not remain passive but respond to the injury by producing a reaction of the odontoblasts in the dental pulp in an area generally corresponding to the damaged tissue and resulting in a laying down of what is known as secondary dentine. In 1922 M. Mellanby proceeded to investigate this phenomenon under varying nutritional conditions and found that she could control the secondary dentine laid down in the teeth of animals as a reaction to attrition both in quality and quantity, independently of the original structure of the tooth. Thus, when a diet of high calci­fying qualities, ie., one rich in vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus was given to the dogs during the period of attrition, the new secondary dentine laid down was abundant and well formed whether the original structure of the teeth was good or bad. On the other hand, a diet rich in cereals and poor in vitamin D resulted in the production of secondary dentine either small in amount or poorly calcified, and this happened even if the primary dentine was well formed.

Thus, in dogs, the factors that affect tooth healing are the same factors that affect tooth development:

  1. The mineral content of the diet, particularly calcium and phosphorus
  2. The fat-soluble vitamin content of the diet, chiefly vitamin D
  3. The availability of minerals for absorption, determined largely by the diet’s phytic acid content (prevents mineral absorption)

They later replicated these findings in human subjects. As they wrote in their 1932 British Medical Journal study, also cited by Dr. Guyenet,

The hardening of carious areas that takes place in the teeth of children fed on diets of high calcifying value indicates the arrest of the active process and may result in “healing” of the infected area. As might be surmised, this phenomenon is accompanied by a laying down of a thick barrier of well-formed secondary denture… Summing up these results it will be clear that the clinical deductions made on the basis of the animal experiments have been justified, and that it is now known how to diminish the spread of caries and even to stop the active carious process in many affected teeth.

To learn more about the role of nutrition in dental health, see my previous article “Eating Well for Good Oral Health” and video “Feeding Your Teeth.”


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Tooth diagram by Ruth Lawson, Otago Polytechnic


Filed under Dental Health, Diet & Nutrition