Q & A with author of Cure Tooth Decay, Ramiel Nagel

In my post, The Diet that Heals Cavities, I mentioned Ramiel Nagel’s book, Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition, which discusses how to put Dr. Price’s research into practice for better dental health. There were a lot of questions from you, as well as requests for more practical information about how to make it all work. I am still working on my ebook of menu plans based on Dr. Price’s research, but meanwhile, Ramiel has agreed to answer many of your questions! I am really grateful for the time he spent answering all of these questions!  Make sure you check out his website too, Cure Tooth Decay, as it has a lot of information on it too.

Also, I’d love for some of you who have had success with improving dental health (or general health!) with diet, to share your tips and stories in the comment section below as well. 🙂

Q: Can I heal my teeth or prevent cavities if I can’t have dairy? What can I substitute for raw milk and pastured butter or ghee?

Yes, but it might be more difficult. Again, I would really question whether one has a true dairy allergy which is very rare, vs. a dairy sensitivity. If it is a sensitivity, then that condition could be improved through herbs, digestive enzymes and exercise, and you might be able to get away with some goat cheese, or ghee. But your alternatives are to have plenty of seafood, seaweed, fish eggs where possible, and lots and lots of cooked green veggies. Also, when calcium is low, the body seems to like using magnesium. Getting magnesium chloride bath flakes or oil and using frequently probably will help.

 Q: Does my milk and cheese have to be raw?

Your milk should be raw. If your cheese is grassfed and low temperature pasteurized, it is acceptable but not ideal. Yogurt from grassfed animals, or at least yogurt labeled organic that is pasteurized is also acceptable. It is fairly easy to find raw milk cheeses, as they are legal mostly everywhere provided they are aged 60 or 90 days. Try your best, but understand it is the minerals that you are looking for from the cheese.

 Q: I am allergic to all seafood. What is a good substitute for cod liver oil?

There is no real good substitute for cod liver oil. We all need vitamin D to prevent cavities. In fact, it is now proven to reduce our cavity rate by 47%. I would recommend that you get Green Pasture’s high vitamin butter oil because it does have some vitamin D in it.

If you feel adventurous, animal blood is an excellent source of vitamin D. Chicken and probably duck eggs that are on a lot of pasture have some vitamin D, but not too much. Pork and/or beef fat from grassfed animals will also help. I would hate to recommend a synthetic vitamin D supplement because I don’t recommend synthetic products, nor do I know which ones are good. But that is also an option.

 Q: I am a vegetarian. Can I eat a nutrient-dense, cavity fighting diet without meat?

I used to be a vegetarian myself, and I even have some vegetarian dietary guidelines in my book because a lot of vegetarians have tooth decay and I’d like to help. Here is the problem: many of our soils are depleted, so it is difficult to impossible to find vegetables and grains that are full of all the minerals they should have. In India, there are some areas where vegetarians can do this because they have 1000+ year old top soil. Everything they eat, including their dairy products, will be of higher quality than what can generally be found in the U.S. They also have strict biodynamic protocols and are careful to avoid foods like nightshades.

So the modern world solution is eating a moderate amount of meat, because grassfed cows or buffalo, for example, will have a decent amount of minerals and vitamins. Make sure to have high quality dairy, plenty of vegetables, prepare your grains carefully and have butter oil.

Of course, my book goes into more detail on the explanations of foods to eat and avoid. So you cannot do everything in the book if you restrict meat. Also, some vegetarians reluctantly take fermented cod liver oil so they can save their teeth.

 Q: How can you control tartar buildup?

It’s a complex subject as there can be many causes, but using the gum cleaning technique is a simple solution. It is described here.

Other clues as to what causes tartar would be excess calcium in the diet, or an excess of calcium that is not absorbable. Having enough fermented cod liver oil will help in this area. Note that some people with optimal health have no tartar build up, even if they do not brush. If you are not a heavy milk drinker, then something is also out of balance, but don’t feel bad; most people have tartar, and I am working on learning and developing ways for people to obtain optimal health so they don’t have the build up any more.

 Q: Do you really have to wait until adult teeth start coming in before expanding the palate

The younger you do palate expansion the better. The optimal appliance for a young child is gentle. This can either a soft splint, like a chewy piece of plastic, or the ALF, which is a light and flexible wire.

I suggest you find a good cranial person, because I am looking into ways we can actually change the shape of our face with body work. So get your child to have some cranial work. In particular, you can do work in the mouth to nudge the maxilla forward, and to massage width into the maxilla. Do this gently. Over time this will correct or help structural problems.

 Q: Thoughts on coconut oil pulling?

It’s helpful for most people, although I know it pulled out too many toxins in one person and made them sick. I do it on occasion.

 Q: What can help severely receded gums grow back?

This is a complex subject that I am investigating, but it helps to understand the cause. Receding gums are due to bone loss in the jaw, so you want to remineralize your bones. Particularly helpful treatments for this would be grassfed butter or ghee, fermented cod liver oil, food based vitamin C, such as this one, bone broth, and plenty of dietary calcium and magnesium. Someone just told me MSM is good for this condition as well, but I have not been able to test it out.

 Q: I understand that phytic acid from nuts, grains, and legumes binds with minerals like calcium in the digestive tract, preventing those minerals from being absorbed. Do you know whether it generally binds only with the minerals from the grains/nuts/legumes themselves, or does it also bind to the minerals from other foods being consumed? For example, if I had a piece of whole wheat toast that wasn’t sourdough or soaked, and a glass of milk, would the phytic acid in that piece of toast have the potential to bind with the calcium in my milk?

To answer the first question, I do not know right now and I would have to review the research to see if that information is available.

I do know the answer to the second question. If you have adequate minerals, particularly calcium, consumed along with a food high in phytic acid, the minerals will neutralize or cancel out the effect of phytic acid either significantly or completely, although I do not know the science of what is happening.

If one had plenty of calcium together with a low phytic acid grain, such as I recommend, then one would in the end have more calcium available to the body. So it would be better to have a piece of sourdough toast made with unbleached flour, along with cheese or milk, than to have a piece of whole wheat bread with cheese or milk. I do not know the ratio of how much calcium you need to stop the phytic acid effects, or whether calcium would stop the iron, zinc, or magnesium effects of phytic acid.

A general note to everyone:

Healing cavities or gum disease requires slowing down and taking time to acknowledge the health imbalance that you face. I wrote “Cure Tooth Decay,” in the spirit of helping people achieve these goals. If someone is not feeling like they need focused help on healing cavities, they can subscribe to my online newsletter to learn more tips and tricks to stop cavities.



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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. says

    Ive bought your 2 editions and follow most of its principles eg I eat raw cheese,green pastures cod liver oil etc but can’t find much for magnesium and I know all the natural sources.I take a supplement called natural vitality magnesium supreme by calm natural.Its a proprietary blend of citric acid sourced from sugar beets and magnesium carbonate from mineral water.Is this acceptable because I’m worried about the citric acid.

    • Diana says

      Hi Angela

      I wouldn’t touch fish oils, HOWEVER Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil is a fantastic product and I wouldn’t be without it.

      There’s lots of information on the Green Pastures website and on the Weston A Price website, so you can research there, and other sources, to your hearts content 🙂

  2. D. Louise says

    Hello! Trying to made the bone marrow soup that must simmer for 24-48 hrs. This must involve a slow cooker of some sort. Please advise which is the safest and best to use? Example, stainless steel pot in slow cooker or a stoneware pot in slow cooker?
    Can anyone recommend a brand of a large size slow cooker?
    This is new to me so must ask, do I add vegs at the same time as the bone & meat?
    Does this freeze well and for how long can I freeze it before it looses it’s potency?

  3. Ann says

    Vitamin D blood levels and cavities? Comments.
    I was taking a moderate amount of fermented cod liver oil but things where not going uphill
    It seems I need alot more Vitamin D and oral supplements are not tolerated.
    Will this help keep the fillings/ inlays in place to get Vitamin D up first?
    Had problems with fillings keep falling out. Dentists love it because then its a crown…
    I’m lying out in the sun now that it’s summer but it seems like SLOW process.
    pH is really low even though diet is good
    Thoughts on situation?

  4. karen says

    Hi I am from south africa just started your book just wondering if you can give me examples on what I can eat here that will help improve my cavity

  5. Margaret Hutchinson says

    I am very grateful for Mr. Nagel’s work. I followed his protocol for my daughter when I discovered she had decalcification (pitting of the enamel and pre-cavities) at 18 months old. This was all confirmed at her first dentist visit. Six months later, at s follow-up visit, the dentist said her enamel had completely grown back and was nice and hard. I attribute this entirely to the strict dietary protocol we followed for her (from “Cure Tooth Decay”) as well as some homeopathic remedies and the use of MI Paste. The new enamel stayed strong and intact until those baby teeth fell out a couple of years ago!

  6. Umo says


    I wonder if you could tell me how much ghee to take per day for the curing cavities/remineralising teeth protocol? And also, what’s the best way to take it? It’s not very pleasant eating it off the spoon! I thought maybe melting it on top of steamed/boiled vegetables while they’re still hot is a good idea. What do you think?

    By the way, just in case you know, if ghee is cooked butter (as I understand it), doesn’t that mean that the nutrients get cooked off? I don’t understand…

    Anyway, please help if you can! I have ordered Ramiel Nagel’s book but it hasn’t come yet and I’m not sure if these answers will be in there… Many thanks!

  7. Lucia Maria Hargaden says

    Large hole in molar for sometime have tried to mineralise …but can denting and pulp mineralise ….the outside of the tooth, the enamel seems to be getting stronger but inside the hole which i thought was getting smaller especially having a consistent diet of liver and bone broth….may be I need to eat more of the latter…………..i am hoping to buy your book at some stage. I cant affort to have another extraction ….as the last one caused severe TMJ and I ended up seeing a neurologist got slowly better ……..taking magnesium, water.etc….


  8. Joan says

    Hello Ramiel Nagel my name is Joan amd I was wondering if my current fillings can reverse themselves and have the tooth underneath it regrow and have the fillings fall out? And I was also wondering if receding gums can heal too? Thankyou so much, have a great day and please get back ASAP.

  9. Joan says

    Hello Ramiel Nagel my name is Joan and I was wondering if my current fillings can reverse themselves and have the tooth underneath it regrow and have the fillings fall out? And I was also wondering if receding gums can heal too? Thankyou so much, have a great day and please get back ASAP.

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