Heather is one smart blogger from the website, The Mommypotamus. Not only does she feature intelligent posts and yummy recipes, but she also has several wonderful eBooks. (I just got done looking through her DIY Organic Beauty Recipes, and it’s a winner! I’ll share more about it in another post.) But today I asked Heather to share her story of healing some pretty significant teeth issues her child had. Notice the had.
For those that think this whole topic is crazy, science is just a little behind us on this topic. 😉 Even the Discovery Channel mentioned remineralizing teeth as a possibility (though I don’t agree with all of their recommendations), and there is some breakthrough technology that could help teeth regrow after a cavity in the future. Or….you could see what a nutrient dense diet does for you.
I share these stories not to heap guilt on those with children who have dental issues. I know, from a lot of personal experience, that healing a broad range of health issues doesn’t always work the same way for everyone. I also note that Dr. Price always found some people with some signs of former or current cavity issues with all of the healthy people groups he studied (though they were all minor issues). But the point is this: Both Dr. Price’s work, and stories like this should give hope that significant health problems, including teeth decay, is not a insurmountable health issue. A nutrient rich diet could offer significant help to many. So I offer these stories as encouragement and to give hope to those who face similar problems.
I find this story remarkable because Heather and her family were eating a very good diet when they experienced dental decay, but they experienced significant changes when making some positive changes. If you eat a good diet, but are experiencing dental trouble, perhaps you just need to tweak the already good things you are doing, and make sure you supplement with cod liver oil and butter oil. Read on for the full story.
Kimi: Can you tell me a little about the food background of your family before you found out your child had dental issues?
Heather: We were eating a very traditional diet: raw milk, lots of butter, organic and pastured meats, local eggs and organic produce. I hadn’t braved organ meats at that point, but I did take them in supplement form. My daughter, Katie, had never even had a processed food when we discovered the decay.
Kimi: And how did you discover her dental problems?
Heather: The first sign of trouble was that her teeth just started crumbling. One day when she was 19 months old I laid her down to change her diaper and realized part of her front tooth was missing. It was there when I dressed her that morning, and then it wasn’t. There was no fall, no trauma . . . I’d been with her the whole time. A friend who is a dentist examined her and said her front teeth were just incredibly weak.
To say I was confused is a massive understatement. She had a broad, wide palate and vibrant health in every way. She’d never had an ear infection to taken medications of any kind, so why were her front teeth turning to chalk? I had no idea what I’d done wrong, but it was devastating to watch.
As you can see in the picture below, her incisors became very porous and brown over time. If you’re looking closely you might also notice her front tooth appears to have partially grown back. I’ll explain that later on in the story.
Kimi: What was your plan of action from this point on? What did you change in her diet?
Heather: I ordered Ramiel Nagel’s book, Cure Tooth Decay,
as soon as her tooth broke. We were already eating a 99.99% traditional diet, but I did find some key changes to implement:
- No grains (she was 19 months old and had only had sourdough and oatmeal in small amounts, but we cut these out)
- Limited fruit and honey (even more than usual)
- Fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil every day
- lots of shellfish for minerals (bone broth, too, but it wasn’t as well-received)
- foods rich in phosphorous
- horsetail, a supplement which is rich in silica (I emptied a capsule into smoothies made up of egg yolks, pineapple for flavor, and a little water)
I also started making my own tooth soap and continued researching possible causes for the decay. The answer came in the most unexpected place: my son! He was born tongue-tied, a condition that has become increasingly common over the past few generations. Katie is not tongue tied, but as we explored my son’s condition we realized that both of our kids were lip tied. When a lip tie is present the mouth has trouble clearing milk away from the top four teeth. In Katie it caused the breast fed version of what is commonly called “bottle rot.”
Research has shown that cocaine exposure increases the incidence of tongue ties (ankyloglossia), which is not a factor in my case. However, the fact that some chemicals have already been studied and linked to this defect makes me wonder which ones might that haven’t been studied. I’ve been making my own beauty and cleaning products for years, but before that I used a slew of toxic chemicals. Could this be yet another consequence?
For those who are wondering whether their little one might be tongue/lip tied, here’s a post on how to diagnose at home and/or get free advice from the top U.S. expert on ankyloglossia.
Kimi: What was the time frame of this changed diet (that is, how long were you eating this way before you had her teeth checked again?)
Heather: About two years. I saw a ton of improvement initially: two small cavities disappeared and her front tooth seemed to be actually growing back. Over time, though, her incisors became darker and darker brown. When she was three I became so distressed by it that I took her to a holistic dentist to talk about filling options. I was worried that if the decay went to the root it would harm her adult teeth.
When we arrived the dentist gave us a pretty grim prognosis, then examined her. As it turns out, Katie’s teeth had completely remineralized!
Apparently, her teeth had healed (and even regrown a bit, it seems) long before. The brown crust was actually old tooth that had been replaced by new enamel underneath. All that was left to do that day was to buff off the crusty old enamel. The dentist wasn’t able to get it off completely because the vibration from the buffer made Katie nervous, but I’m thrilled to say she didn’t need one filling.
I snapped this photo when we got home that day.
As a side note, the dentist was familiar with the work of Weston A. Price and attributed Katie’s remineralization to our diet.
Kimi: How has the ongoing health of her teeth been?
Heather: It’s been two years and she’s never had any issues since.
Kimi: In closing, what do you think were the most significant changes you made to help her teeth heal? Any advice to those with teeth issues?
Heather: I would say cutting out grains and being consistent with the fermented cod liver oil/butter oil made the most difference. Other than that, the biggest change for me was intentionally preparing a lot of mineral rich foods, like shellfish and broth. It took some time to figure out how to work it into my routine but it was definitely worth it!
About Heather: Heather Dessinger, aka The Mommypotamus, is a wife, blogger and mom to two amazing kiddos, both waterborn at home. She loves all things fermenty, talks to sock puppets, and dreams of owning her very own flock of backyard chickens. She is the author of two ebooks. Nourished Baby is a simple guide to introducing real food to little ones, and DIY Organic Beauty Recipes is a collection of 50+ beauty and personal care product recipes that really work.
Disclaimer: As mentioned previously, any dental issues should be overseen by professionals. I am just a mom sharing interesting research and personal stories, and this post is not intended to offer medical advice. Please see your health care provider about all of your health concerns.