Can you cure tooth decay naturally?
A natural, food and supplements-based protocol by Dr. Steven Lin
Kids eating lollipops and then neglecting to brush their teeth… Would you believe that’s not the cause of your little ones’ cavities?
When there’s tooth decay or pain, the tooth is telling you that the child is not eating the right things, which causes a loss of beneficial oral bacteria that protects the teeth from decay. The good news is, when the body receives specific nutrients that support strong teeth, decay in certain stages can be reversed - and children are especially receptive to this!*
It's really that simple, according to Dr. Steven Lin, DDS.
“People underestimate the strength of their teeth and the power of the immune system to heal itself - when they’re fed the right nutrients.”
Dr. Lin is the principal dentist at Luminous Dentistry on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Following the revolutionary teachings of Dr. Weston A Price, DDS, Dr. Lin treats his patients with a special dietary protocol, breathing exercises and holistic remedies first (instead of automatically resorting to painful, invasive dental procedures).
He is also the first certified dentist in the world to write a book, “The Dental Diet,” about the life-changing results he's had after applying Dr. Price’s findings to his patients.* Now Dr. Lin is sharing his clinical, natural protocol for tackling tooth decay in children - that you can do at home.*
If you’re unfamiliar with Dr. Price’s work…
Dr. Weston A. Price, DDS, traveled the world in the 1930s, seeking the answers to why his patients had crooked, decaying teeth. In doing so, he studied indigenous peoples who maintained their traditional diets and compared their health with those who had been exposed to modern, processed foods. Dr. Price found that without exception, the groups who maintained their traditional diets were healthier than their modernized counterparts.
In this blog post, we will cover the following steps, in an easy-to-understand guide, as told by Dr. Lin:
Step 1: Understanding the outside factors of tooth decay and the body's immune response
Step 2: Preparation for the protocol
Step 3: Dr. Lin's protocol for tackling tooth decay
Step 1: Understanding tooth decay: The outside factors and the immune response
To successfully move through the protocol, we must first have a basic understanding of tooth decay, the inner workings of the tooth, and the role sugar plays in decay.
Big misconception about tooth decay and sugar:
By far, the biggest misconception about tooth decay is the idea that it is an infection of harmful bacteria caused by eating sugar. It's not. (Check out this study for more details.) Tooth decay actually results when the body doesn’t have adequate fat-soluble vitamins (more below), which causes an imbalance of the oral microbiome. According to the 2008 Human Microbiome Project, the oral microbiome is made up of a staggering 600-plus species living in the mouth.
The oral microbiome are reduced when we eat refined sugars and refined flours.
So, when the body is malnourished due to lack of fat-soluble vitamins, compounded with extra sugar in the diet, decay can take over.
The immune response: How the tooth can heal itself with its odontoblasts*
As you can see in the image above, the three layers of the tooth are the enamel, dentin and the pulp.
It’s essential to understand odontoblasts; they come from the bone marrow. They sit at the junction of the tooth, the pulp and the dentin, and then monitor what's happening in the enamel.
The odontoblasts also emit an immune reaction. So when they’re properly nourished with fat-soluble vitamins (more below), they are able to protect the enamel; you can't get tooth decay. This is the mechanism of immunity to tooth decay, as well as for the body to heal from tooth decay in the correct circumstances.
Depending on the level of damage to the tooth - especially if the only damage is in the enamel - it may be possible to self-heal, because the dentin can produce a reparative layer. And the odontoblasts will seal the tooth!*
The Stages Of Decay And Clinical Classification
Active decay: The dentin will be a very soft, sticky and brown when it's “active.”
Arrested decay: When the dentin is “arrested,” it is a much harder, black lesion; signifying that the dentin has laid down reparative dentine. In other words, if a lesion turns brown to black, the reversal process is taking place and the decay has stopped progressing.
Pulpitis: If the lesion goes down to the pulp (per an x-ray), you have an inflammation of the dental pulp tissue called pulpitis. It shows up as a swollen bubble on the gum, such as an abscess or a white pimple. It can be very painful (pain begins once the lesion gets halfway through the dentin; and once it reaches the pulp, it will throb). With pulpitis, you’re limited to what you can do holistically, as an infection can be dangerous.
When to intervene: If there is a dental abscess (pulpitis), intervention from a certified dentist is needed.
When to consider Dr. Lin’s protocol: If you can see dentin or you have decay in a tooth with the enamel remaining, there is likely structure there to remineralize and potential for self-healing.* Always proceed with care and consult your dentist.
Step 2: Preparation for the protocol
Run it by your dentist:
Now that you have a basic understanding of the inner workings of the tooth, how decay thrives and how the tooth has the capability to heal itself, consider printing out this guide and bringing it to your dentist for a clinical diagnosis during your next appointment. Radiographs will show the depth and severity of tooth decay.
Appropriate age for the protocol:
You can start when the little ones have teeth. Children can be very receptive to this protocol, especially since their teeth are going to fall out anyway.* A dentist can nearly go across the board and say, "We don't need to fill a pediatric tooth, because we can sit and watch it.” And the parents can make the decision later to fill it, if they choose.
The approach is different for adult teeth. For adults, if the enamel is gone, it’s important to consider a restoration (see the clinical classifications of tooth decay above), as there's only a small amount of lesions in adults that don’t need filling. Minor lesions may be reversed with the protocol.*
Length of the protocol:
Cavities/lesions usually start to turn around in eight to 12 weeks.* Another notable factor is whether the child is going outside, exercising and getting sunlight. That helps integrate the nutrients into their bodies; and supports profound changes in the mouth.
Brushing: Continue brushing as usual, in the morning and before bed. Avoid antibacterial toothpaste.
Step 3: Dr. Lin’s protocol for tooth decay
Feeding the odontoblasts the right nutrients for self-repair:
Now that you understand the nuts and bolts, it's pretty straightforward from here: Feed those odontoblasts the right nutrients.*
Those key nutrients are vitamins A, D, and K2, according to Dr. Price’s findings. Why vitamins A, D and K2? The diverse groups of healthy people Dr. Price observed worldwide, from the tropics to the Arctic in 14 countries, showed there are many different kinds of foods that meet the needs of the body to maintain vibrant health - but these vital vitamins were the common factors.
- Vitamin A: Retinol form, an animal source; supports bone development through cell turnover and with vitamin D, activates growth and development of genes through the body.*
- Vitamin D: Specifically, D3, an animal source; helps the body absorb calcium, the building block of the skeletal system, and activates thousands of genes that influence the body right down to cell growth and differentiation.*
- Vitamin K2 (MK4): Also an animal source; the bone development support factor for vitamins A and D that activates the proteins to direct calcium into the right places.*
So, let’s start with food...
Stop: First, it’s imperative to stop the harmful components of our children's diets (this, of course, applies to adults too).
- High fructose corn syrup and synthetic sugars.
- Sweet drinks, juices and soda.
- Industrialized omega-6 oils (vegetable oil, soybean oil, canola oil, etc.).
- Processed and fortified flours, cereals, breads, baked goods, etc.
- Processed foods with additives, such as MSG.
- GMO foods.
Start: Instead, enjoy real foods that align with an ancestral diet. Reintroduced by Dr. Price, ancestral eating refers to consuming unrefined, unprocessed, whole foods that have been around for thousands of years. These foods are grown and raised naturally:
- Wild meat (grass-fed, local, organic)
- Organ meats (especially beef liver)
- Fish and seafood (wild-caught)
- Chicken and eggs (pasture raised)
- Fruits and vegetables (local, seasonal, organic)
- Nuts and seeds (organic, especially almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds)
- Traditional fats (butter, lard, tallow, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.; grass-fed and cold pressed)
- Dairy (grass-fed, raw, full fat, organic)
- Bone broth (homemade from grass-fed meat)
- Grains (organic, freshly ground, no additives)
Consider reading “The Dental Diet” by Dr. Lin for wholesome family recipes and more tips on eating for dental health. You can also visit his website for free, quick and easy resources and even more recipes.
Next are the supplements...
Because vitamins A, D and K2 are more difficult to get from food - even wholesome ancestral foods - in the modern day (due to depleted soil and modern farming), supplementation with clean, premium vitamins as well as minerals and probiotics is critical in recovering from tooth decay.* Supplementation is also necessary because children with tooth decay very likely have a deficiency in these nutrients, so they need an initial boost to balance their mouth and gut flora, feed those odontoblasts and kick start the natural healing process.*
Important note: These recommended supplements are premium, pure and potent. Therefore, it’s critically important to start slowly, with a lower dosage than recommended. For example, a very small dose every other day, or even once a week, until you can determine how the supplement affects your child’s body and what dosage feels right as time progresses.
For more information about tooth decay and dental health, check out Dr. Lin's website. We wish you all healthy smiles!
Always consult your medical professional before proceeding with any supplement or dietary based protocol.