Why Raw Foodists Have Bad Teeth: Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Monday Jul 1 | BY |
| Comments (43)

In 2001, I got extremely bad news from my dentist. I had gone back from a long adventure in California, where I lived exclusively on a raw food diet and had been doing so for almost three years. California was my raw food pilgrimage, and where I learned all the tricks and tips from the leaders of this health movement, the ones who were writing books on the topic.

Initially, I felt great on this raw food diet, living off fruits and vegetables. I was scrawny but I had good energy and focus. When I introduced started eating lots of raw food recipes, nuts, seeds and other raw food “treats,” my health started to go downhill.

In California, my teeth were bothering me, but I never got them checked. When I returned to my hometown in Quebec, Canada, I got my teeth examined by a dentist, because I knew something was wrong. Then I got some sobering news: I had developed 19 cavities.

At the time, fixing all of those teeth cost more money than I had, and was also painful and traumatizing.

That’s when I realized I had done a lot of terrible things during my first few years on the raw food diet.

– I wasn’t paying too much attention to my dental hygiene, having read in books that just chewing on apples and celery is often enough to “clean your teeth”
– I had been consuming dates, dried fruits, nuts, and raw food treats, as well as lots of fruit in abundance
– I neglected to go to the dentist upon the first signs of pain in my teeth

So I decided: “No more,” I will change things around. No more raw food recipes full of nuts and dried fruits. I would keep on eating dates, but I would brush my teeth religiously after eating. I kept on eating a raw food diet, but I cleaned it up. I still ate a lot of fruit, but I paid real attention to my dental hygiene. I flossed and brushed after most meals. I had all of my teeth fixed. I thought “Things will be much better on my next dentist’s appointment.”

One day, less than two years later, I was eating a grape and while chewing around the seed, one of my filings broke.

So I went to the dentist again, this time, to a holistic dentist in Montreal who practiced mercury-free dentistry. I thought that maybe I would have a cavity or two, but not more than that.

When the dentist examined my mouth, I heard him mention all of these tooth names to his assistant, and it didn’t sound very good. I knew I was in trouble again. Finally, I got the news that again, I had around 20 cavities.

I was absolutely devastated. I thought I had done everything right. I had been brushing my teeth religiously. I had eliminated most of the junk raw food I was eating before.

But I had been traumatized by this experience. Again, I had to go through the pain and humiliation of getting my teeth fixed.

This day, something changed inside me. I decided “No more raw foods. I’m done with this diet.”

By then, it was the end of 2003. I quit the raw food diet. Instead of having fruit for lunch, I was having a stir-fry with tofu, or something like that. For breakfast, I had yogurt and some fruit. For dinner, I often ate fish and rarely chicken. I was too scared by my former beliefs to try red meat, but I finally did on a few occasions.

I ate sandwiches, ate bread, ate lots of cooked vegetables. I had salad, and I continued eating fruit, but much less than before. I had animal protein like eggs or fish on a regular basis. I ate beans and rice and other grains and legumes.

And while I was at it, I started brushing my teeth with a fluoride-containing toothpaste once a day. I thought “All of those hippie beliefs didn’t help me in the past. So this time, I’m going to do the opposite.” I also used toothsoap, a special kind of soap that was reputed to help the teeth remineralize themselves, twice a day the other times I was brushing my teeth.

Six to nine months later, I noticed some discolorations on my teeth. Some brown spots that looked suspicious.

So I went to the dentist, very scared to have cavities again. But this time, I got some great news. “Well those spots are from teeth re-enamelized. You had some cavities going that stopped dead in their tracks. You must have changed something to stop their progression. You don’t have any cavities. Your teeth are doing great.”

I was enthused.

But I needed to understand something. What was it that made the difference. Was it the toothsoap? Was it my change in diet? Was it the fluoride-containing toothpaste I was using once a day?

Also, I needed to understand why I had had so many cavities, not only once but twice, even after I had removed the apparent culprits that were causing the problems.

Finally, I came across a book that answered all of my questions. It was called “Money By the Mouthful” and had been written by a certain Dr. Nara. Little did I know at the time that I would later acquire the publishing rights to this book, which has helped me and so many other people turn their dental health around.

What I understood is that bacteria that cause dental decay organize into colonies. Once they get entrenched, it’s very hard to get them out into a normal, free flowing state where they can’t cause much damage. Standard dental hygiene advice is not enough to bring the bacteria count to a lower level.

By applying the information I learned in Dr. Nara’s book, I was able to successfully keep my teeth healthy. It involved, among other things, the use of an oral irrigator to really get in between the teeth and clean them thoroughly, as well as a careful way of brushing teeth that insured the job was done properly.

However, after this ordeal, I was also very reluctant to try a raw food diet again. Would my super-hygiene routine, I felt that perhaps my change in diet had also a lot to do with my “recovery.”

Over the next few years, I embarked on a few raw food experiments. I returned to the raw food diet, but carefully. At some point, I ate 100% raw. I also ate for a while according to the guideline’s of Dr. Graham’s 80-10-10 Diet. And every time I changed my diet, I noticed how it affected my dental health.

What I realized was the following:

– With my super-hygiene routine, I could control approximately 90% of my dental health, with the other 10% being influenced by diet.
– Whenever I ate a raw food diet for an extended period of time, I got cavities. Granted, it was not to the extent I had experienced in the past. For example, I might get one interdental cavity in one year, on a year that I followed a mostly raw diet.
– The more my diet was fruit based, the more it affected my dental hygiene negatively. I could eat a lot of fruit without experiencing problems, but as soon as most of my calories came from fruit, I experienced some problems such as enamel erosion, sensitivity, or cavities.

What I realized over the years is that the proper hygiene is key. It can prevent and in some cases, reverse problems in about 90% of cases. But while dental hygiene is very powerful when done correctly, it’s often not enough to reverse a bad situation completely.

Raw Foodists With Bad Teeth

I say with a lot of confidence that dental health is the Achilles’ heel of the raw food diet. And this is not only because I experienced problems. It’s because most people I have talked to, who have lived on a raw food diet, have experienced problems.

Dental decay is a problem of bacteria in the oral environment. It’s actually a disease. Accordingly, some people are blessed with more resistant enamel or a saliva that keeps their bacteria count under control naturally. So that’s why some people can eat a diet that can be very cariogenic (causing cavities) for many people without problems.

Having been involved in the raw food movement for many years, I have met many of the leaders and people who passionately promote this lifestyle. Many of them will refuse to admit that the diet they promote is causing dental problems in their followers.

Yet, behind the scenes, I know that things are not always what they appear. A great percentage of people I have talked to have experienced real dental problems, and in some cases have simply accepted that it’s the “price to pay” for great health in other aspects.

The only two reasons why raw-foodists get problems with their teeth are:

– Underlying issues (the bacteria count)
– Sugar

Once you understand this simple concept, you’ll be able to eradicate decay for life.

What happens is that when people move into the raw-food diet, they are basically a time-bomb as far as their dental health is concerned. Their bacteria count is a little too
high, but not high enough to cause major problems.

Suddenly, they dump a bunch of sugar into their mouths. This sugar creates a giant feast for the bacteria who feed on them.

So in that sense, the introduction of a higher quantity of natural sugar is the determining factor. This sugar can be in various forms… it doesn’t matter for the bacteria who feed on them! There is no difference between white sugar and banana sugar when it comes to increasing the bacteria count in the mouth!  

And this sugar is plentiful in the raw food diet. We’re talking about:

    Fresh fruits (bananas, mangoes, etc.)
    Fruit juices
    Dried fruits
    Nuts and seeds (which stick to the teeth)
    Raw food “bars” and dehydrated treats
    Smoothies (that’s right)
    Green smoothies (that’s right)
    Coconut water

Now… here’s where it gets interesting. Sugar is food for the bacteria.

Normally, you want your bacteria count to be as low as possible. You want to avoid bacteria forming in to *colonies* and creating their own little civilization in your mouth.

If your oral environment is really clean… it doesn’t really matter if you eat dates all day. If the bacteria count is low, you can do that without problems.

So although the *precipitating* factor that creates problem for raw-foodists is the introduction of more sugar, the *real* problem are the underlying issues, so the bacteria count! Like I said, 90% of the problems can be solved by dental hygiene alone, and 10% is diet-specific.

My Diet Today

Today, my teeth are quite resistant to decay. I still eat fruit, but not as much as I used to. My diet is more balanced with a variety of nutrients. In the morning, I have fruit in a smoothie form, and I do eat fruit throughout the day, but I don’t get most of my calories from fruit anymore. I get my calories from fruit, starch (in beans, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc.) some healthy fats (avocados, etc.) and protein (mostly plant, with some animal protein).

What I’ve noticed is that I can now eat pure sugar without getting problems anymore. I’ve corrected the underlying problems, and I’ve fixed my diet so it doesn’t promote decay. So now, I can even eat candy, or a drink containing white sugar, and it’s not going to affect my teeth negatively. Of course, I don’t do this constantly, but I do eat my fair share of fruit, and don’t hesitate to devour dates or other dried fruits, and occasionally, eat some white sugar-containing junk.

The only way to prevent dental decay for life and reverse a bad situation is to take active control of your oral environment. Just controlling your diet does not address the root of the problem.

Last Comments From Kevin Gianni

I hope that you enjoyed Frederic’s story on dental health.

I’ll be talking more about this topic during the week, including some interesting science that I’ve found, but I also have a great resource for you.

I came across it last year and purchased it. After I read it, I was thrilled to find out that many of the things I did (and struggled to research) — as well as some things that I’m going to add to my mouth care routine — were completely covered in one place.

The program is called “How To Heal & Prevent Dental Disasters In 21 Days Or Less” and I was turned on to it by our friend Frederic Patenaude. It includes the book “Money By the Mouthful” By Dr. Nara. This program has been created by OraMedia and is the only course I have discovered that tells you exactly how to avoid dental problems for the rest of your life.  

After I got the book and knew that I wanted to share it with you, I asked him if he could give you a discount on the program and he agreed. It’s normally $37 or so, but he’s going to offer all Renegade Health readers a $17.05 discount, so you can get it for just under $20 — at $19.95.

It’s a good deal, I promise. I picked up one tip from it that I’m starting in the next week or so that will likely save me thousands of dollars in dental bills in the future.

If you want to get this program all you have to do is head on over to this site and use this coupon code: RENEGADE

Here’s the site…


NOTE: Make sure that you use the coupon RENEGADE on check out to get the discount.

Please note this deal will expire in about 72 hours, so make sure you get it while the price is really good.

Your question of the day: Have you noticed more or less dental problems since you started eating increased amounts of fruit?

Live Awesome!

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. marillyn says:

    Kevin, Thank you for the helpful article on dental problems. Could you talk about the green smoothies and what is in them that would contribute to this problem? Thank you! Marillyn

    • Afke says:

      Great article! I have been delighted with my dentists reports for the last 10 years! I am a raw foodie fan but like Eric, eat eggs and organic chicken once in a blue moon. ( when the chicken on my husband’s plate simply smells too good! I ‘ll admit somewhat shamefullly that my brushing and flossing is a little lacksidaisical. It sounds like a good plan to have a little baking soda in the bathroom for rinsing.

  2. June Louks says:

    Hi Kev,

    Thanks for sharing. A couple of thoughts to share:

    Before I went raw vegan, and my 4 daughters went off junk food, we would routinely have 5 collective cavities every 6 months. (10 per year!) Then, when my family and I went off the addictive white stuff (white sugar/white flour) we completely collectively stopped having any cavities. That was 7 years ago, and none of us (including my hi raw vegan husband) have had any cavities since (save one with our youngest, due to an appliance, unable to floss between molars).

    I understand this to be because the white stuff builds plaque, which then the bacteria feeds on.

    There has been tremendous value to our family in “going off junk food,” not only in dental costs, but also the priceless value of not having any foreign material in our mouth (from fillings). I wish this for all our children.

    Also, as an aside, I don’t understand how Fredric could, after connecting with fresh whole foods for a sustained period (and I would think, enjoying how his body fees on vibrant foods), now puts sugar/candy in his body sometimes…doesn’t make sense to me…after really connecting with healthy vibrant whole foods, raw or cooked. But, perhaps it is just how we all see it. Perhaps he went to a different place with it….I am certainly in no place to judge others, having been raised on junkie foods, and a typical American diet, and eating that way most my life. But just to chime in, with my transition, I have come to see my body as more of a temple, a sacred place, that I would only want to put light filled, vibrant foods into…it is an energetic…and the white foods just seem to me to be too “noisy.” (I have posted all my last few years latest recipes on my website…all of our favorite staples, and treats.)

    Thanks for all your posts Kev, and all your research you share.

    Smiles, sunshine and laughter,


  3. Bill says:

    Yes, I think so, because I added more citrus to my diet over the last 6 months and ended up with several cavities. I have been on a mostly raw diet for the last 3 years with no dental issue. Then, I read or heard that it is good to add citrus to your green smoothies for better nutrient uptake, so I started adding half a lemon (peel and all) to each smoothie that I made which a drink at breakfast and dinner. I also started eating a gratefruit every morning, a orange with my salad for lunch and a orange with my seeds in the afternoon. I do rinse my month soon after drinking my smoothies as I learned from your discussions, but sometimes I think I was waitning too long to brush my teeth after reading that it is not good to brush your teeth within a 1/2 hour of drinking a smoothie.

  4. Viktor Tichy says:

    I was on 100% raw food diet for several years and will do it again now when all our kids have flown the nest. I had several cavities every year since I was a teenager. The first being in the tooth I no longer have, but I kept all the rest thanks to an amazing book I read 20 years ago. It was written by a dentist who met an 80+ year old woman with a perfect set of teeth and gums. Her secret? Growing up during the great depression when her mother made everybody brush their teeth with Ivory soap to save money. Later, she never could get used to a toothpaste again. I tried it too. First


    not an unpleasant association, and then I got used to it. I had one cavity since then, in a wisdom tooth I pulled myself with a dental floss, and my gums that were sensitive since my teens stopped bleeding. The secret? I think it’s alkalinity of the soap.

    One more word of caution: fluoride in toothpaste along with bromine in flour and Teflon pans substitute iodine in your thyroid causing Hashimoto’s disease when you are iodine-deficient but the fouled-up thyroid cannot process any and you get an allergic reaction. 95% of Americans suffer from iodine deficiency and 65% of those from Hashimoto’s disease. As common as tooth decay, right? Yes, but the consequences are more diversified: Cancer, heart disease, MS, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and some 50 more, basically most diseases people die from before their nineties.


    in the world – on seaweed, and fish, the richest natural sources of iodine. Do you or your dear one want to lick cancer, heart disease, MS, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, fibromyalgia, diabetes, or any other disease packing the coifers of the Big Pharma? Heal your thyroid first, you cannot do it otherwise. Source? Dr David Brownstein’s book IODINE. More info? email me to geniusindiapers@gmail.com

  5. Veronica says:

    No, no cavities since I was a child….I get a clean bill of health on my teeth every check – up with the dental hygienist oohing and ahhing at how clean my teeth no, little staining, plaque, etc.

    I eat 95% raw and have for 6 years now. The key is to eat mostly vegetables, limit fruit, and make it low-sugar fruit like citrus, berries, apples, etc. Watch the honey, agave too…I eat lots of nuts and seeds, little to no grains…and have had no problems with my teeth.

    And of course one should brush everytime you eat !!!

    Fruit and natural sweeteners should be limited.

  6. Jean Hart says:

    One component that was totally left out, is the pH of the mouth. Sugar is acidic, whether it’s natural or not.
    By swishing thoroughly with 1/2 tsp. baking soda in a little bit of water after eating, this switches the pH to
    alkaline. I only do it in the evening after brushing with a tooth soap. Within 6 months, 3 tiny cavaties found
    by my hygenist, reversed themselves! Yea for baking soda! (I use Bob’s Red Mill – natural banking soda)
    Blessings, Jean

  7. Beverly says:

    So what is the stuff that re-mineralizes teeth?

  8. Krista says:

    I’m glad for the enlightenment provided to us here in the form of better dental care suggestions–I’ll check out that promo sometime! :), as well as supporting tooth remineralization by eating healthy, whole foods; however, fluoride-supplementation? I appreciate this man’s honesty in his attempts to figure out what could help remedy his situation, but I was moved to comment here because I was really surprised at the mention of using fluoride-toothpaste, especially as it came from someone who seems to advocate healthy, conscientious living.

    This from Kevin Gianni’s site: “Fluoride: It’s really a mystery why the surplus of this industrial waste product has made it into our water systems. Studies have show that over 0.6 parts per million of fluoride can start to show chromisomal damage in the cell. Many water municiplaities have over that amount. By the way… many dentists have stopped using fluoride for teeth quietly, while our cities still put in in our water.”

    I’m concerned some people out there may consider using fluoridated toothpaste because it was mentioned it in today’s featured article.

    As we do our research to learn about better dental care, or other forms of health care, my hope is may more people do the research on fluoride, if they are not already aware of the controversy around it…

    Several of us in Austin, TX are working to help raise awareness on the dangers of fluoride-supplementation and to have its addition removed from our water supply.

    Thank you, Mr. Patenaude & Kevin/AnneMarie, for all the great work you do! 🙂

  9. jane says:

    >raw treats
    >never got them [teeth] checked
    >not paying attention to .. dental hygiene

    These seem to be problems which are unrelated to a raw & living food methodology. Garbage food is garbage food whether heated or no. Neglecting to clean one’s mouth and teeth is problematic no matter what one does in terms of food.

    People seem to think they know what they are doing when they have no conception of what is good for them or whether they are getting sufficient nutrition or even how to care for themselves.

    This article condemns one person’s foolish choices and not an eating methodology.

  10. Nomi says:

    As a long-term raw fooder (over 25 years all or high raw) and a raw food teacher I’ve long been puzzled by the reports of rampant tooth decay as I have never had the problem. Finally a few years ago I came across the information that -especially with citrus-the teeth are temporarily softened by citrus, so immediate brushing after
    eating citrus containing foods actually destroys the softened material. It’s better to gently rinse with water (perhaps the baking soda trick mentioned below that alkalizes the ph in the mouth is the way to go I haven’t tried it).
    Also rigorous flossing/cleaning around the gums with a dental pick has certainly worked for me all these years. But, I may be different because I don’t make placque, I am not the person who needs their teeth cleaned 2-3 times a year.
    ing all raw when younger. They all have false teeth now. I am talking highly educated, intelligent, not crazy extreme men who blaim fasting on orange juice (something I would simply never do) to damaging their teeth beyond repair.
    As usual, we are each so unique that we don’t share the same experience when doing the same thing

  11. Anne says:

    I absolutely agree, if your diet is sugar based, mostly fruit in all forms, you will have problems and not just with your teeth.
    Frederic, wasn’t your raw food diet basically fruit? Perhaps that was the problem
    I have followed the hippocrates lifestyle, raw unprocessed plant, high enzyme rich food, including wheatgrass, and green drinks of celery, cucumber sunflower sprouts etc., minus the smoothies, for the past 6 years ,my dentist has always said to keep doing what I’m doing. He says he could only wish that his other patients teeth were like mine.
    Perhaps I have very low bacteria in my mouth, however, I’m sure if Anyone devoured dried fruit etc every day ,
    They would most likely have sugar problems, if not in the teeth, in other parts of the body.


  12. paul says:

    The raw food diet is fantastic, (IF DONE PROPERLY!) As humans we have hybridized many of our fruits and veggies in the name of sweetness. For example, ANY apple purchased at your local store is a hybrid! It doesn’t really mean all apples are bad; however, it means over the years our food industry has bred and grafted apple trees to produce sweeter and longer lasting apples for the store bins. Some apples are grafted to the trunk of a pear tree in order to survive a harsh Winter and so fourth.

    If going raw, be aware, and stay educated. I made the same mistake by going totally raw, (WHOLE HOG), with tons of sugar much like Fredric did; while I felt fantastic, I had much gas and bloating due to the far too much sugar that I added. I had to take a step back and re-educate myself. It helped to think like a “true human”, if that makes any sense. What would Adam and Eve have eaten? Their raw food was obviously un-hybridized. I ate more green smoothies and salads and learned to appreciate un-hybridized foods like sea-weeds, raw super foods, and wild edible weeds.

    Green smoothies are fantastic! (AGAIN IF DONE PROPERLY). Be aware of your ingredients, and you will flourish with your raw diet! Keep the sugar contents to low or No-glycemic. This can be done easily without having to satisfy our taste for sweetness that many of us have bought into.


  13. I carefully read the whole story, because I an almost 100% raw.

    I never heard about raw food nutritionists having dental problems. For example, Norman Walker, or Ann Wigmore.

    Myself – I have problems only when I don’t take good care of my teeth, and when I have emotional problems.

    After the last 2 times, when I was in a lot of pain, and a few dentists wanted to do a root canal, I came with my own recipe for daily teeth cleaning, plus, I did save 2 root canals. I have not use commercial tooth pastes or any other products for many years now.

    As far as cavities, usually, I have old fillings that fall out.

  14. Claudia says:

    I believe it’s probably the sugar in the fruits. It can also be that some people just have weak teeth. It may help to drink water after you eat fruit or smoothie and swish around in your mouth to try and rinse off the excess sugar from the surface of the tooth. But with more sugar in your blood stream you may get more cavities and no amount of brushing or topical work can help. Candy eaters have the same problem. I wouldn’t stop the raw diet completely, just cut back on the fruit. I have diabetes and I have to eat less fruit also because of the sugar content. Good article!

  15. Lana says:

    I found this intriguing because at one point I did happen to notice sensitive teeth & gums but honestly, I believe it has more to do with specific foods & potentially an allergy creating the underlying issues. Citrus doesn’t bother me but I typically avoid cashews because I find them too sweet & I don’t feel they resonate with my body. I am allergic to wheat/gluten but last year figured out I am also allergic to wheatgrass.
    I’ve been eating the live plant-based whole foods lifestyle for only just over 3 years but I can tell you that I’ve had a lot of learning curves, done a lot of my own research, & tuned into my body. I find it’s imperative for everyone to not just jump on the trend-wagon but to truly take the time to learn about it because there’s a LOT of misinformation out there. For example, salt is actually not digestible by our bodes so I don’t use salt but instead use sea veggies. I think the hardest thing right now is getting the proper information & not falling prey to “following” any one person because there are so many out there with something to offer but, so far, I have not found anybody who knows it all. I am continuously learning & this is what I enjoy about this journey! ;~)

  16. Rebecca Cody says:

    Dr Weston A Price, a pioneer in nutrition studies, found people all over the world who had perfect teeth and perfect overall health (entire communities with only a handful of cavities in the whole tribe). Most of these people had never used, or even heard of a tooth brush or dental floss. He hoped to find healthy vegetarians, but he didn’t. He found they all ate some animal protein, especially organ meats. They all ate some of their animal protein raw. And most of these groups ate quite a bit of animal fat, which they prized. This, of course, was fat from animals that had lived natural lives, nothing like the way most food animals are raised today. His book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, tells the story with lots of photos as well as descriptions of the various peoples and how they ate.

    • Joe says:

      As i understand it, Western A Prices focus was on the absence of processed foods. Its true he found no vegans, but he found a wide range of diets from the meat heavy to plant heavy. I think his work has been misrepresented by the WAPF – they seem to focus too heavily on meat, and also dairy, and i dont trust their point of view given that they are heavily supported by beef and dairy farmers.

  17. CmdrSoCal says:

    Using high amounts of silica and iodine have helped me build stronger teeth and bones. I use about 3 pounds of horsetail powder a year and about 3-4 pounds of kelp. I also mix in some licorice powder. I eat raw omnivore, mostly fruit. I use bar soap to brush.

  18. ahvy says:

    How abt oil pulling? Does it help preventing or reducing bacteria count in mouth?

  19. Jan Saffi says:

    Add probiotics to your diet. Especially the ones that work in the mouth such as L salivarius. The good bugs fight the bad bugs.

  20. Mary says:

    Thanks Kevin, because this is such a huge problem with me!

    First, I ‘m surprised no one has mentioned Victoria Boutenko who said for her family discovering the greens blended, (green smoothies. though I don’t always add fruit to mine) making them much more absorbable, was key to good dental health because it mimicked the chimps with whom we share almost identical DNA. And she said we just don’t have the strength in our teeth to masticate thoroughly enough as the chimps do to otherwise get enough nutrients.
    And , of course, Ann Wigmore said and did all this first.

    I agree that it’s different for everyone and you must take in all info and then find your own best way.

    Two things,

    I recently read that family problems manifest as tooth problems……this has been so true for me! In my most severe stuff with my family of origin I had a very painful tooth that I lost.
    When my father died I had lost a tooth one month before. And years later when my Mother died one month before I had an abcess which was pulled 2 months later. It lasted that long due to colloidal silver water which is a miracle anti-microbial for teeth!

    And the last thing is that in the 80’s I was very strict all raw for 8 years. I had teeth problems going into this all raw and I didn’t take care of them. I also for several years knew I wasn’t drinking enough greens, yet did nothing about it until I discovered Blue Green Manna as it was then called. Yet, I experienced no teeth problems, which I believe wasn’t just my diet, but most importantly the 4 long fasts I did every year. They just seemed to take care of everything. I belie ve I had 3 toothaches during that period which I would then chew the algae into my teeth and immediately goto sleep. In the morning it would be gone.
    Once I began eating more “normally” again, which I chose for emotional and other reasons, my tooth problems began again.


  21. LynnCS says:

    Brushing and flossing is a good thing, but the most important thing is eating an alkalanizing diet. Eating lemon, for example, is acid in it’s makeup, but alkalinizing in it’s result. Eating to alkalize will keep the sliva the right Ph and that will create a healthy mouth.

    There are lots of sites on the subject on line. Enjoy.

  22. mary dicerni says:

    Hi, It does sound like the raw food was fruit and not much veggies.. Had you finished with tomatoes which create an alkaline if eaten fresh, and raw zucchini with a dip, there may be less sugar on the gums and teeth… The bacteria live on mostly sugar, and form acids from it… the acid is what does the damage .. If you brush your teeth after having acid on them, the enamel is weaker, and is sometimes removed by brushing… I recently read this. I now rinse with soda before brushing my teeth.. alcohol is supposed to be alkaline, so a gargle with Gin de Kuyper might help .. LOL . I am also from Montreal , They have good dentists there . Thank you for the info . Well done ! mary

  23. Sara says:

    Kevin – any views on Oil-pulling? This is supposed to be a great way of getting to the hidden oral bacteria…

    Great post as always!

  24. Oleander says:

    I eat a mostly raw diet with masses of fruit including bananas. I also drink a lot of tea, – black with soya milk and green. Have read that raisens help keep teeth ckean (surprise to me!) I floss and brush at night time and brush in the morning, using a bicarb enamil repairing past (Arm & Hammer)
    Have not had a single cavety for over 5 years and never get that ‘furry ‘ feeling!

  25. Mary says:

    Rami Nagel also has a book “Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition, Second Edition” http://www.amazon.com/Cure-Tooth-Decay-Cavities-Nutrition/dp/0982021305 and he bases it on Weston A. Price’s research on traditional cultures. He uses CLO, liver and raw meats in the protocol. I know this is a Vegan group, but basically it comes down to the acidity of your body. When the body becomes acidic, it takes minerals out of your teeth and bones to alkalize your body. There is fluid running through your teeth. The fluid should run out from your teeth (hence, to remineralize them). When the body is acidic, the fluid reverses and pulls the minerals back into the body. This would explain the article above about how she had so many cavities. She ate too much sugar. Dr. Price showed through his study of traditional cultures, tooth decay was rare even thought they didn’t brush their teeth or have dental care. “Modern” diseases were mostly non-existent too. I have always been very good with brushing and flossing, but always had problems with my teeth, so to me it doesn’t make sense that that is the only thing that “prevents” cavities.

  26. Leanne says:

    I’ve learned that eating good-quality animal fat is really important for dental health. Grass-fed beef tallow, real lard from pasture-raised pigs (not the hydrogenated stuff in the store), raw milk, eggs, organ meats, fatty fish, etc. are good examples. See westonaprice.org for information. Also, read about Chris Masterjohn’s story of bad dental health and other health issues while being a vegan, and how he corrected them when he learned about nourishing traditional foods and good-quality animal fats. His website is http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com. Also, for those who strictly want to eat raw foods, read about Aajonus Vonderplanitz. He eats a raw food diet, but includes raw meat and dairy. He wrote a couple of books, which I’ve read, and found very interesting.

  27. shane says:

    My favorite ways to steward my mouth are to floss with Desert Essence tea tree oil floss, brush with a sonic care toothbrush using PerioBrite, rinse with PerioWash and use a tongue scraper. I can’t recommend this routine highly enough.

  28. Louis says:

    Have you considered Xylitol chewing gums to diminish carie-causing oral bacteria?
    You can also find chewing gums / mouth rinse with beneficial bacteria.

    Having that many cavities tells me Frederic may have an underlying health issue preventing proper tooth calcification. Low Vitamin K2, low Thyroid levels come to mind.

  29. Linda Murphy says:

    I think we should eat as much raw or lightly steamed as possible. I don’t restrict my fruit consumption. But because I eat lots of vegetables and nuts and seeds and brown rice, and beans I feel full and have lots of energy. I don’t eat huge amounts of fruit. We need a variety of vitamins and minerals, so I try to eat a variety of different foods. I also use a toothpaste(flouride free) but contains xylitol. There has been a lot of research on the benefits of xylitol and balancing the bacteria levels in the mouth. I have not changed my diet in years, but had changed the toothpaste I was using, and I have had less plaque, and my dentist has seen a great improvement. I am now recommended to get cleaning every 9 months. If anyone wants more information on a proper diet and the type of toothpaste I use. contact me at info@bestbody4life.ca.
    Thank you Kevin for sending this information. There are lots of things that I feel are very interesting and beneficial.
    Linda Murphy
    Registered Holistic Nutritionist

  30. Guillaume says:

    There are only two problems: 1) sugar and 2) not enough fat. Here’s for point 1: Nobody should be eating any simple or starchy carbs, ever. The fact that some can eat more than others without apparent negative consequences simply means that they are somewhat more tolerant at that particular time. It does not in any way mean that it is good or even neutral. Every gram of sugar consumed has negative consequences on the body. There’s no way around that. And here’s for point 2: the only way to get minerals from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream and then fixed into the bones and teeth is in the presence of fat, and the more the better, and the more saturated the better, together with plenty of vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K, all of which are fat soluble and essential to fix minerals into the bones and teeth. There’s no way around that either. And thus, it makes for a pretty simple picture: no sugar of any kind, lots of saturated fat, tons of green and raw everything, and a little bit of protein for tissue repair and building. Forget everything about bacteria and colonies and all this nonsense. It has nothing to do with it. Weston Price demonstrated this when he showed how those Swiss mountain folks that basically lived on raw milk products, never brushed their teeth that were entirely covered with a thick layer of bacteria of yellowish-green colours, and none of them had any tooth decay. I can’t believe people still believe this rubbish about the bacterial theory of tooth decay. Once more: NO sugar, lots of fat with vit A, D and K, tons of greens, and you will never have tooth decay.

    • Craig says:

      Hi Guillaume. What saturated fat would you recommend? Organic Coconut Oil?

      • Guillaume says:

        Hi Craig,
        Yes, coconut oil is the best. it is really a miracle of nature. But you probably know this already since you suggested it yourself. Then butter, the ideal is raw butter made from the milk of pastured animals eating grass, but it may not be so easy to find depending on where you live. Weston Price gave children he was treating for reversing and healing their teeth 70 g of pasture butter per day! I try to eat as much of both as I can, within reason, of course. So I typically have at least 1 can of coconut milk every day (that’s about 65 g of oil), and about 40 g of butter. In the winter, I use lots of coconut oil in all the soups we make, and that’s pretty much every day, as well as with oven baked eggplant and zucchini (I then serve those with pesto and its super good). You can check out my physiology-based health blog. It’s called Healthfully and it’s on WordPress.

  31. Selina says:

    Damn, don’t I know it. When I went vegetarian, a year after I started to have really sensitive teeth, it hurt just by breathing cold air while running during winter. It could have been a number of causes, I was having money troubles during that time and was not paying much attention to eating healthy. There were days when I just ate couscous with ketchup… go figure.

    Then this stopped a year or two later, I was vegan at that time. My guess is that my diet overall just got better since I went vegan, I had to keep more track on my nutrition. Now my teeth are better as ever, my dentist commented last time I went that it looked good, I had no cavities nor caries. I have also started to use dental tape. Interestingly enough it seems that it is possible to reverse damage in teeth, I always thought that once the damage is done – damaged enamel, then there is nothing else to do than to get expensive coating done at a dentist. But my enamel seems to have repaired itself somehow.
    I also drink herbal infusions, nettle, oatstraw and comfrey, they are very high in bone building minerals. I highly recommend them. Kevin you really should interview Susun Weed about herbal infusions! I really can feel the effects of the infusions, they also make my nails and hair strong.

  32. Evert says:

    Vitamin D3 is needed for mineral absorbtion, vitamin K2 is needed to bring those minerals into the bones and teeth and prevent calcium from being deposited in places it shouldn’t be, like arteries and soft tissue.

  33. barry says:

    yes, fred has the straight poop on rawvegan cavities

  34. Dr. Weston A Price has a solution for bad teeth. Bone broth made from boiling chicken bones for 24 hours provides minerals. Oil pulling with coconut oil can keep your mouth free from harmful microbes. Fat soluable activators found in raw grass fed butter and fremented cod liver oil. Those are both raw foods. If your teeth are rotting out then adding healthy animal fats from grass fed and pasture raised animals will help tremendously. I would also like to point out that if your teeth are rotting then you do not have good health! Dental health is an indicator of overall health. Try some fermented foods to that can bring balance to harmfull microbes.

  35. DOROTHY DUMBRA R.N. says:

    So many interesting articles on teeth health. I am a Clinical Nutritionist and Specialized Kinesiologist. That is Applied Kinesiology which I use when working with all clents’ health problems, diabetes, pain, hypoglycemia, candida, allergies,, arthritis on and on. it tells me exactly what the dificiencies and organ imbalances are, the allergies, emotional stresses and the year, structural outs, and exactly what to eat. No one whom I noticed commented on sugar in all forms, including fruit leed to inflammation, which is behind all disseases, including cancer and cardiovascular. Cholesterol does not cause heart attacks it is inflammation in the lining of the arteries. Too much sugar, including fruit will alsoo lead to glycemic dysregulation. Ii have found that diabetics are allowed too much sugar in all forms, including fruit, some eating 3-4 fruits daily, and too many carbs which convert to sugar therefore do not cure thier diabetes. Which is totally possible with correct diet. Ii have not had a cavity in longer than I can remember, am 79, look 50, active ride, and no health problems. I have an alkalizing machine for water, incidentally, cancer grows on sugar and in an acid body. Regarding the coomments on iodine, low thyrooid and low iodine is undiagnosed in 70% of the population due to not having TSH and FT3, FT4 and thyroid antibody checked each year after 50, doctors usually do not do this, old interpretations, some people binifit by having a TSH of 1 or 2 treated, and lastly, the use of synthetic hormones which do not deal with alll of the hormones. Hair loss, loss ofo half moons on nails, cold, fatigue, enlarged tongue, dry skin, etc are some of the signs of low thyroid. And, true iodine is needed for the thyroid to function properly, the thyroid will pick up radioactive iodine, if other is not available. It does not care. I use clean fish and legumes, salads with everything in them, lightly steamed veg, about 50%of the diet raw, very few fruit smoothies, raw organic veg juice. The best is beet, ogreat detoxifier for the liver, tight handful of greens, spinach, kale, parsley, cilantro,, good for heavy metals, and some carrot. Apple not needed. The sseseme seed oil pull done properly can pulll toxins from the body, not just teeth and mouth. Rinse mouth after eating, or drinking teas and coffee which can stain. Xylitol is the sweetner I use as do not like the taste of stevia, it is from a plant, helps with dental caries, immune system, and diabetics can use it as it does not go through the pancreas. So, low on fruits,use low glycemic, that includes smoothies, no limit to vegetables, esp. green leaf, raw kale salads are great, protein from legumes, minimal grains, I do believe in at least fish and fertile, eggs, and some fowl if yu wish,but make it all natural. Wathch for GMO foods, most wheat, soy, corn, avoid hi allergy foods, wheat, eairy, corn, soy, eggs, peanuts and peanut butter, I muscle test clients for them, keep boody alkaline, good probiotics, 70% of immune system is in the gut, and good digestive enzymes, as we lose a lot mid age, due to faullty food combining, and too much cooked food. Remember warm soup in a heated bowl is still raw. Dorothy

  36. Gail says:

    I have a few comments to make in general. Experimenting on oneself is a waste of time and as we see can be harmful. Did you know that people die of toothaches? Why hasn’t anyone mentioned seeing an RDH? Seems simple enough. Yes. Use your best judgement and be your best advocate, but…Why not trust the profession of dental hygiene…just seek a good one out. Their expertise far outreaches the dentists’ expertise when it comes to oral hygiene/prevention. They are the most qualified scientists/prevention specialists/experts in the world because they have studied hygiene for years and years; boards and licensure exams were taken & passed, mouth after mouth is carefully examined & data collected day after day at work, besides reading the most up to date dental/science journals, sharing clinical data, and taking continuing education courses all their lives. Registered dental hygienists are registered and licensed with each state or province, have graduated with science degrees from universities, and teach and share that information with the world, including dentists. We learn from our work, what we see case after case, books, professors, each other. We use critical thinking, and base our beliefs in science. Shouldn’t everyone see a dental hygienists? I should think so. Dental hygienists and their families don’t experience much, if any, dental disease because of our vast preventive knowledge. Here’s one professional tip: don’t brush after having juice or anything with a high pH for 20 minutes. The enamel is at its weakest (tooth structure so acidic for natural breakdown) and brushing will accelerate enamel erosion/decay. Here’s another tip: drink fluoridated water. Brush with fluoridated toothpaste. Remember most dentists and hygienists use fluoride in proper amounts and do not have higher rates of cancer, tumors, retardation, birth defects, early death, etc. than any other group. The science does not support the fear of fluoride. We hygienists actually have overall good total health. I hope you all see a good passionate dental hygienist for your next dental visit. All children should see one by age one. Ask the hygienists your questions at each visit! Don’t experiment with your health. Get real expert advice. Good luck!!!

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