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Tooth Decay

Does Cod Liver Oil Help Remineralize Teeth?

You may have heard people sharing stories online about how cod liver oil has helped them to remineralize their teeth or in some cases, heal cavities. I decided to look into the science behind this phenomenon and this is what I found out.

Limitations of Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel has no living cells, which means the body has no way of repairing it when it is chipped or cracked. But that's not the end of the story because saliva containing calcium helps to remineralize teeth and enamel is only one part of the tooth. The interior parts of the tooth (dentin, cementum, and pulp) all do contain living cells. Cod liver oil nutrients affect both the saliva that can remineralize teeth and the living bone tissues under the enamel. It cannot repair a broken, cracked, or chipped tooth.

Cod Liver Oil Nutrients

Like anything, cod liver oil is a sum of it's parts and it's these parts that people are claiming to remineralize teeth. Cod liver oil contains DHA, EPA, and Vitamin A, but there are two other nutrients that (along with calcium) the body can use to rebuild bone in the body: Vitamin D and Vitamin K2.

What Can Remineralize Teeth?

Remineralization of the tooth occurs from nutrients in the saliva, but saliva is unable to penetrate through plaque. This is why both good nutrition and good oral hygiene is required to prevent tooth decay.

Holistic Nutrients

No nutrient acts alone in the body. Calcium needs Vitamin D to be absorbed into the body and it needs Vitamin K2 to decide where to go in the body. Together, calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K2 work together to rebuild bones in the body.

What is Vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2 is a set of compounds of Vitamin K, but as it relates to dentistry, much of the research you'll see comes from a book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. The book was written by Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist and dental researcher in the 1930’s who collected food samples from groups of people with low tooth decay and found that their diets contained at least four times the quantity of minerals and water-soluble vitamins as normal Americans. While high amounts of K2 in the diet has not been proven to increase bone density, low amounts of K2 has been found to increase the fragility of bones.

Whole Body Dentistry

Our bodies are truly remarkable in their abilities to self-heal. The way saliva helps remineralize teeth to combat the acids from foods is truly amazing. But what we eat and how we take care of our teeth also matters. We must use our mind in conjunction with our body to work together as one whole body.

Tooth Decay - Is There a Cure?

At Indianapolis Dentistry, we are firm believers in holistic dentistry, viewing dental and oral health in conjunction with overall health and treating the root causes of dental problems aside from treating problems symptomatically. Tooth decay is the most common dental problem most patients, regardless of age, face and we focus on preventive dental care and health promotion to ensure that cavities don’t develop. According to the American Dental Association, tooth decay develops because:

"[Tooth decay] occurs when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) such as milk, pop, raisins, cakes or candy are frequently left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay."

Inasmuch as we educate patients on the proper dental hygiene of regular, proper brushing and flossing, diet and proper nutrition play important roles whether or not tooth decay develops.

What actually causes tooth decay

The foods we eat give us cavities. The diet many people eat daily is what is causing tooth decay. Remember the phrase, “You are what you eat”? The same thing happens with your teeth. Your teeth reflect what you eat!

Tooth decay boiled down to three factors, according to a research made by Dr. Weston Price:

• Not enough minerals in the diet.

• Not enough fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) in the diet.

• Nutrients not being readily bioavailable, and your intestinal system not properly absorbing them. The presence of phytic acid largely influences this factor.

Managing Tooth Decay using Natural Methods

  • Removing sugar in one’s diet
  • Removing Phytic Acid-- Phytic acid not only doesn’t allow you to absorb in minerals in your food, it also leaches minerals out of your body, bones and teeth!
  • NO processed food, packaged food or fast food.
  • Raw Dairy and Nutrient Rich Foods - Remember, if you’re going to beat tooth decay, you need to increase your fat soluble vitamin intake and mineral intake.
  • Mineralizing toothpaste
  • Oil Pullingit is even recommended by dentists!

Tooth Decay – Is There a Cure?

There are studies that point that tooth decay is reversible with proper nutrition and avoidance of foods that enhance an acidic environment conducive for decay to develop. These have not been verified by medical or dental associations.

Tooth decay can easily be prevented with proper diet and nutrition, especially when it comes to children. Decay at its early stages might even be reversible. However, choosing to eat properly and avoid decay-forming foods isn’t a one-time deal but a lifestyle change. Once decay forms into cavities and become larger or deeper, it is not reversible and will require dental treatments such as fillings.

Prevention is Better Than the Cure

Dr. Reese knows the importance the role of dental health promotion and prevention, practicing integrative dentistry through fluoride-free cleanings and other services designed to help his patients keep their teeth cavity-free for many years to come. Together with his dental services, the clinic offers dental products that help keep your teeth, mouth and gums healthy and prevent diseases. Call 317-882-0228 to order by phone and have it shipped. You can also schedule an appointment today!