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Agitating The Experts

I admit it. I'm a bit of a shit-stirrer, which is likely why I've been able to pretty easily sustain a blogging life since 2003 with an average of better than a post per day, in spite of many other important matters.

...This reminds me. I need a Conventional Wisdom category. Done...

So, to the subject: I was wholly pleased to march into my dentist's office the other day for my (now) semi-annual appointment with the hygienist, only to horrify: "I don't brush my teeth, much."

You see, I'm just oddly crazy enough to wonder how wild animals get by without regular dental checkups; being semi-annually irradiated, poked and prodded, drilled & filled, caped or crowned...canaled, braced, bridged, dentured...and the list goes on.

But, thanks to a bit of fortune, I got wind of and then studied Weston Price.

It's a compelling story. Rather than sit with tenure at a university while using his slave-labor PhD candidates to apply for -- and justify -- grant applications to secure his longevity as an "expert" and "authority," he was a practicing dentist who decided to finance and document his own research. He did so, traveling the world to discover the dental health of peoples who'd not regularly had contact with modern civilization. This was in the 1930s, and it's all documented in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

I'm not going to go over that all, now, but much of it is contained in my vitamin k2 posts; you may also search Stephan's blog for "Weston Price."

But in a nutshell, Price found that diets high in fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K2 not only prevented tooth decay and gum disease, but that supplementing with these vitamins could actually reverse tooth decay, i.e., get cavities to re-calcify. What I have found is that not only did getting off grains probably lessen the widespread inflammation that was causing gum problems, but that -- probably owing to my K2 supplementation -- my teeth are now almost always pearly smooth, even after getting up in the morning.

So, back in the dentist's chair, how can I possibly justify not brushing my teeth thrice daily, particularly considering that I actually had surgery twice for periodontal disease? Isn't it well established that it's essential? Well, like with many things we investigate and discover, it turns out that one can have perfectly pristine teeth without brushing or flossing, though I do end up brushing a few times per week.

Back to the hygienist who's been cleaning my teeth for 15 years. I could tell she was quite uncomfortable with the notion. First, she wanted to do the x-rays, which I declined...saying that if ever I present with anything that requires x-rays, we'll get them then. ...But that with my teeth and gums feeling better than in my whole life, I just didn't see the need for the added cost in dollars and needless radiation exposure.

So then she goes to work on the examination and I could tell she was at a loss. She kept trying to find negative things to say, but her heart just didn't seem to be in it. There is was, right in from of her eyes: teeth and gums presenting better than 15 years ago, and this guy doesn't brush or floss as conventional wisdom dictates he should.

Actually, I've never used floss. Hate the stuff. Rather, I use a perfectly paleo tool: a wooden toothpick. I can easily imagine something like that being in use by man for many millennia, given our penchant for tool making.

So, once she finished up and the dentist came in for the examination, I told him also about brushless me, to which he mentioned recalling about my grain free diet, as well as the vitamin K2 I had previously told him about.

He poked around and in the end, said, "Well, whatever it is you're doing, keep on doing it." I'll take it. But, I also will likely skip the next appointment six months out and just start going once per year.

Comments

  1. I still brush at least once a day (usually twice) in the shower, but have also noticed better dental health since going paleo. Oh, I do floss occasionally too.

    My teeth are noticeably whiter, breath is better, and my tongue is much cleaner. I'm extremely anal about looking over my mouth because my dental insurance is totally worthless. I developed a few cavities from drinking tons of energy drinks when I was still on a western diet. I like to keep a close eye on them.

    Paleo rules. We all know it.

  2. I noticed you mentioning "Getting off the grains." I would point out that Weston Price did not get his patients "off the grains" when he cured them of their dental problems. He got them off the sugar and replaced white flour products with a whole wheat gruel ground fresh that morning for maximum freshness. He then added the vitamin rich butter oil and cod liver oil for the K2, A and D supplementation.

    This is worth noting because the Sikhs and Hunza of northern India, who have excellent health in all respects, also eat a great deal of wheat and barley but grind it fresh and supplement with dairy products. This was documented by Sir Robert McCarrison, a contemporary of Weston Price, who lived in British India during the 1900-1930s time frame. He did extensive research on the nutrition of the people of India and did many incredibly interesting experiments on lab animals as well.

    Likewise, as Weston Price documented, the Swiss ate a great deal of rye and the Scots ate a great deal of oats, both without significant adverse consequences, as long as they got their vitamins and stayed off the white flour and sugar.

    Getting off grains entirely is possible, but it isn't necessary.

  3. Yep, I'm very aware of that. And, of course, the grains were treated and used much differently in the populations he visited than in modern society.

    So, yes, it's apparently possibly to have excellent dental health with grains in the diet.

    That said, it's not really worth it to me. Too much effort required when I can just grill up another piece of meat for far superior nutrition.

  4. Dave in Ohio says:

    Excellent report, Richard.

    Hot damn, this stuff really works!

    KUTGW.

  5. You are such a freak!

    (but I love ya…keep 'em coming)

  6. But if you catalog the rates of dental decay reported by Price in the various cultures on native diets, you find he reported significantly higher rates among the grain-eaters than among the hunter-gatherers. All hunting and gathering groups had less than 0.1 percent of teeth attacked by decay, whereas the oat-eating Gaelics had 1.2 percent attacked by decay, the rye-eating Swiss 4.6 percent, and the millet-eating Kikuyu 5.5 percent. So the decay rat among grain eaters was between 12 and 55 times greater than among people not eating grains. This data appears in Nutrition and Evolution by Crawford and Marsh and I adapted it in my book.

    So when you say getting off grains entirely is possible, but not necessary, I think that depends on what you want to accomplish. Not necessary if you want better than average health, but looks necessary if you want to virtually decay-proof your mouth.

    Furthermore, the converse of your statement is equally true: eating grains is possible, but not necessary.

    Don

  7. Don,

    You are certainly correct, but I'm not sure that describing a "between 12 and 55 times greater" rate of tooth decay really captures the cost/benefit ratio of total grain abstinence in today's society (which has a very high cost in terms of convenience and effort). Using Price's methodology a rate of 95% cavity-free health (such as the Swiss or Gaelics demonstrated) means that 1 tooth in 20 experiences 1 cavity at 1 point during 1 person's life (aka, 1~2 cavities per person per lifetime); which they went on to spontaneously and fully recover from without any dental medicine once any vitamin and mineral deficiencies were resolved. That's good enough for most folks I think.

    The Peruvian skulls studied by price lived a grain-free life and reached a point of dental health such that four out of five individuals never experienced any cavities at any point in their lives. That's amazing, but it seems to be a diminishing return to seek that level of health when you can get "95%" of the way there and still have your oatmeal, sourdough bread, brown or white rice, etc. if you choose to.

    That's all I'm saying. I think grains get a lot of grief from Paleo folks that they don't deserve. Properly prepared you can still have them, and getting that message out is important since you can reach the people who can't (and won't) live without their grains, legumes or starches. If you care about outreach, don't demonize what you don't have to.

  8. All I have to say is that just 3 days after going Paleo, a sore spot on my tooth at the gum line that I couldn't even touch I can run my nail over now without a bit of pain at all.

  9. I concur with Richard and Don, but Brock has interesting points too. (And Stephan's posts on this topic were really excellent). I don't go completely grain free all the time, but when I eat soft starchy or sweet stuff of any sort (potatoes, carrots too), I try to clean out the teeth right away (I think flossing and brushing feels good, and if you do have something stuck to your teeth, it might interfere with remineralization). Dentists have known about the ruinous effects of starches and sugars for a long time (many years ago, my mom's dentist told her to eat less bread because it sticks to the teeth and causes decay), and my dentist has raved about how healthy my gums and teeth look now since going low carb (and supplementing with Vit D, eating cheeses and butter, etc). I have too many years of previous damage to be really happy about it though. Once the collagen matrix is gone, there is a limit to how much remineralization can occur. You need to minimize mineral loss from decay and poor calcium absorption and maximize remineralization from the saliva. Going low carb/paleo is the way to go for healthy teeth and gums IMO.

  10. Loved this post, Richard, because it mirrors my experience at the dentist. I still brush morning and night, and I rinse my mouth with water (and spit out) after most meals, which seems like something our paleo brethren might have done. I also always carry around "BrushPicks", which are plastic toothpicks with a pointy and a feathered end, both really useful. They're super cheap, and I often use them more than once by simply wiping them off on my pants after I'm down. (Germs just don't scare me anymore — I'm an anti-germaphobe.)

  11. Well, it's certainly a decent point that some people simply aren't going to get off grains and so this is a reasonable alternative.

    The problem I see is that they're going to have difficulty getting them in proper form, i.e., soaked, sprouted, fermented. Then they'll end up with very high gluten products like low-carb bread.

  12. I've definitely noticed a difference in my dental health since not being vegetarian. One of the reasons I quit actually. My teeth always seemed slightly loose (once it got so bad I thought I was going to loose one) and my gums bled easily. Now all of my teeth are solid in my mouth, I haven't gone to the dentist to get checked in years but it would be interesting to see how bad my teeth are now (had 6 cavities last time).

  13. Hi Scott. I'm not quite replying to you, but for some reason, I get no "post" box unless I'm replying to someone else's comment. Hrm. Typepad typo…

    Anyway, great post, Richard. I don't comment often, but as Scott said above, this one mirrors my own experience.

    I was raised on a diet of processed sugary/starchy crap typical of most kids in the 80s. Despite brushing twice a day, I had 7 or 8 fillings by the time I was 16.

    I had neglected going to the dentist from the age of about 18 to 28. I had gone low carb with minimal grains during that time. My dentist, orthodontist (I decided to get braces at 29) and their staff members think I'm a model patient who must brush and floss obsessively. Err… not quite! But I've had no cavities and no problems all this time – even during the time I was in braces. I even have healthy wisdom teeth!

  14. My dentist gave me a prescription flouride cream to use at night. Should I confront him?

  15. That would be entirely your call.

    I'd personally never use it, but that's also your call.

  16. Interesting. My dentist tells me I am grinding away my enamel by brushing!
    Indian villagers have, since time immemorial, used the split twigs of the neem tree for dental hygeine. You can check out the wiki on this versatile tree: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neem
    Paleo, but Indian style!

  17. Hi Richard,

    I recently had dental surgery for periodontal disease, root scaling, I think it was called. After the procedure I still have some pockets in my gums and a bit of receding gums. I had really nice triangles (the bit of gums between the teeth) but they have been damaged a bit by the dental surgery (swelled a bit, and receeded a bit) which I was not to happy about.

    I've just started the paleo/primal lifestyle and wanted to ask you if your gums have improved also?

    Would love to hear if anyone has had improvement in their gums as well as their teeth.

    Cheers,

    Ben.

  18. Ben:

    Need to do a whole entry on this. Big.

    Tomorrow.

  19. Cool, Don. Title of your book?

    I too noticed this independently. If you do a chi square test with Yates' correction comparing the Swiss, Gaelic and Seminoles to the rest of the tribes in their native state, you will find that the difference between grain-eaters and non-grain eaters is statistically significant, as you note. Another interesting finding is that the Seminoles had relatively high cavity levels. The Seminoles were secretive but based on what I've been able to see, probably had higher access to sweet fruits, cane sugar, etc. Naturally.

    However, I also agree with Brock (below) that in modern life this difference may not be *biologically* significant so long as the grains are properly prepared. But without modern medical protections, paleo is the way to go.

    I brush once daily. No problems, but then I haven't had a cavity in about 5 years and I only started modified paleo a year ago.

    Richard, I too went to the dentist recently. I told him about Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and when I can afford it will send him a copy. :) He was really surprised at the state of my teeth. Only took about 5 minutes to get some minimal tartar off near the base of the bottom teeth in front (which is where most of the tartar accumulates due to the position of the salivary glands). I've never had such an easy cleaning. And I had not had one in five years. I used to brush more often.

  20. I have dental tori, bottom jaw. (Not to be too graphic, tori are bone growths that usually aren't a problem, unless they perferate the gums. Which mine did.) The tori really starting acting up after I started munching almonds and macadamiam nuts for snacks, 18 months ago, as snacks on a new, low carb diet that I started at the same time. I switched to walnuts about 9 months ago, and the gum problems of my tori breaking through dissappeared.

    But my CRP has been very high for years, and I'm thinking that the tori breaking through the gums might be responsible.

    Anyone else with similar problems?

    Sue

  21. Talking about the experts….what do you think of the following article about red meat?
    http://www.lef.org/news/LefDailyNews.htm?NewsID=8361&Section=Nutrition
    I mean if the causal relation between red meat and cancer and even diabetes 2 is true then…yeah what then?

  22. Oh, yes, very much so. Some of that I've written about in my vitamin K2 posts mentioned above.

    The basic story is that for years the dentist & hygienist complained of my "deep pockets," eventually referred me to a periodontist, and I had two surgeries (1 side at a time, I had four areas) back in 2000 or 2001. But, same thing. I still had pockets where bacteria would flourish and so had a cleaning every 3 months.

    Fast forward to 2007 when I went paleo. At this point, it was just diet and not supplements, i.e., elimination of grains and sugar. I missed my first cleaning appointment and didn't reschedule. Finally, I figured I ought to go in, and it turns out that it had been about a year since last cleaning. Hygienist couldn't believe it. Thought it was going to be a real tough session, and I'd always needed the numbing wash and refused it this time. In short, it was a breeze and the measurements they took all showed that my pockets, while not completely gone, had improved substantially, and in fact to better than they were when they had first began measuring back in the mid-90s.

    Since then, supplementation with vitamin D and in particular, K2 (MK4) have seen even greater advances. I would always get tremendous calculus buildup on the inside of my lower front teeth, and I just don't anymore.

    In short, paleo, even without supplementation, is the way to go for pristine dental health.

  23. Very cool. Yep, I'm sure that since the time our ancestors had thumbs and fingers that they found ways to dislodge food stuck between teeth.

    I wonder if primates groom their teeth with dried twigs or wooden splinters. Anyone know?

  24. I agree with Richard, this type of study (epidemiological) does not come anywhere near establishing a causal relationship. Furthermore, their "30% increased risk" figures are relative risk, not absolute. Michael Eades has a couple of great posts relevant here, one on one of the recent red meat studies and one explaining the problem with relative risk calculations.

    http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/category/bogus-studies/

    http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/statistics/relative-risk/

    Don

  25. Another great reason to eat more meat:)
    Flossing is such a pain and I cringe when I have a "cleaning appointment". I miss my old dentist and i feel my new one is just trying to torture and guilt me into carrying a toothbrush in my wallet.

  26. Good question. If anyone here should know, it would be me, as I teach a course periodically on tool use in animals. But, I haven't come across it (not that I've exhausted the literature by any stretch of the imagination). What is somewhat relevant is that back in college I worked in a lab training chimps. Mostly I got to play with them and stuff. There was an occasion when the facilities manager changed their windows to one-way windows so that we could observe them without them observing us. Their side of the glass essentially produced a mirror–and they spent A LOT of time looking at their reflections. After a few days of habituating to the mirror and figuring it out, they spent a lot of time inspecting the insides of their mouths with the mirror. They'd just park in front of the mirror and open their mouths with wide gapes and move their heads around as if to get a better look at what was inside. They also probed the insides of their mouths with their fingers during this behavior which really indicated to me that they were using the mirror to autogroom (i.e., self groom) in places to which they normally did not have visual access.

  27. Richard,

    Great post, and I'm looking forward to the next one. Your chronicle of events is almost identical to my own experience. For me, the biggest problem had been the gum pockets, which got treated with fun root planing/scaling procedures — three different times over the past 8 years.

    My last visit to the dentist, after about 4 months of paleo and 2 months of D3 supplements, the hygenist asked out of the blue, "are you doing something differently?" Indeed.

    I am actually looking forward to my next dental visit, where I hope that the additional time on paleo, D3, and K2 (a more recent addition) reveal even more improvement. Great to hear that your pockets have improved — hopefully mine will, too.

    One question, if you don't mind — do you also supplement with Vitamin A? My sense is that I probably get enough from diet, but it is part of the Weston Price triumverate (A-D3-K2). What's your take?

    Thanks!
    Mark

  28. Anand Srivastava says:

    I think A is easy to get. There are too many sources. If you just make sure to get some liver every week you will probably have more than enough A than you will need.

    I guess you will get it from fish oils, as well. With A on paleo the problem is not too little, it is too much. You need to have K2 to prevent the too much.

  29. I wouldn't confront him; generally I'm not-confrontational. But I wouldn't use the cream, either. There's quite a bit of controversy about flouride (and about aspartame, too) and I've decided that it's too much of a risk. Maybe flouride is OK, but if I can get good dental health without it, then why take a chance with the rest of my health?

  30. Mark:

    I get some A from the couple teaspoons of cod liver oil I take.

  31. Haha. I did something similar. A couple of years ago, after I had not been to the dentist for 2 years, and I had cut out almost all grains and sugars for 1 year, I went in for a cleaning. The hygienist asked how often I brush and floss. "Once a day, and as often as I get a piece of steak stuck in my teeth… maybe six times this year?". This was after she told me my teeth were in great shape with hardly any buildup, so it was funny to see her try to backpedal. "But of course you should brush after every meal and floss every day."

    Even without grain and sugar, I've had a persistent painful spot (thin enamel?)on one premolar, near the gumline, for the last year or so. Hurt to touch, brush, or eat certain foods. I started taking a K2(MK7–from natto, b/c that's all I could find) supplement a month ago, and that spot is gone. I've prodded all around with my fingernail (which used to hurt like the dickens) and I can't find it anymore.

  32. I still have one molar that has a soft spot, but it only hurts when the hygienist uses the powered water jet cleaning tool on it. Otherwise, never an issue.

  33. "I'm not sure that describing a "between 12 and 55 times greater" rate of tooth decay really captures the cost/benefit ratio of total grain abstinence in today's society (which has a very high cost in terms of convenience and effort)"

    Not sure to what "cost" of avoiding grains you refer to. I find it easy to eat meat and vegetables and avoid grains. I don't see many if any restaurants serving the type of fermented grain foods eaten by the groups studied by Price. You can even eat virtually grain-free at fast food joints (just throw away the bun), in industrialized nations.

    I don't "demonize" grains, I simply report the health effects. The facts speak for themselves. If someone can't or won't live without grains I am happy to tell them how to prepare them for the best possible results, but I think "outreach" also includes giving the facts.

    "That's amazing, but it seems to be a diminishing return to seek that level of health when you can get "95%" of the way there and still have your oatmeal, sourdough bread, brown or white rice, etc. if you choose to."

    Not clear why you include white rice in your list. I'd like to see the evidence that you can regularly eat nutritionally significant amounts of white rice and get 95% of the health benefits of paleolithic eating. I would agree that you can occasionally eat it without ill effect, but daily use in nutritionally significant quantities will almost certainly wreak havoc. Certainly it wasn't among the foods Dr. Price approved. In China it is known to promote diabetes and now common for physicians to forbid it to their diabetic patients, despite the cultural attachment. They give the straight recommendation to avoid it; its up to the patient then to accept or reject.

    I have the same philosophy. When you water things down, you don't do a service, because people will assume you are telling them what's best. If I say its best to avoid grains, then the recipient of the info knows not to expect the best results unless s/he avoids grains. If s/he decides not to go there, then we can talk about half-way measures.

    In this connection I think of how long it took the Kellogg's company to convince Americans to eat corn flakes. When they first came out with the stuff, people rejected it because they were accustomed to hot breakfasts, usually based on meat and eggs. Yet they managed to change people's idea of breakfast. If you can convince people to eat cornflakes, or replace butter with margarine, you surely can convince them replace grains with meat.

    In my practice I actually find people more receptive to "cut out grains" than to "eat only these and these types of grain products" which are not commonly available. They can get reasonable quality meat many places for reasonable cost, but high quality sourdough bread is hard to find, expensive, and many people don't like it.

  34. Don,

    Price didn't study every culture under the sun. There are many cultures around the world that consume rice as a staple and "manage" to express a healthy phenotype. Corn, wheat, and potatoes too. The Swiss and Gaelics were not unique in this respect. You should read McCarrison's work on nutrition in India for some examples.

    Another fun example (though I cannot find a free copy at the moment) is to compare the phentotype expression of the Pima Indians based on whether they're north or south of the Rio Grande. The ones in the USA get Federal "food assistance" and get processed breakfast cereals, Coca-Cola, white sugar, etc. and get what you'd expect. The ones south of the border eat a tradition diet (70-80% carbs, 8-12% fat, and 12-18% protein) of mostly corn and beans and are very healthy.

    As just one more example, if you have a copy of Good Calories, Bad Calories lying around, check out p.110 on the Zulu. Like the Pima they got less than 20% of their calories from fat, but only the sugar-eaters in the city expressed poor health. Unprocessed grains can still raise a population of warriors of such strength and fierceness that the very word "Zulu" is synonymous with that stereotype today.

    Lastly, as anecdotal evidence, I eat oatmeal, rice and the occasional sourdough leavened bread. My teeth are fine, even though I do not brush them. I even healed up five open calories just by dropping the sugar entirely, without dropping unprocessed starchy carbs.

  35. Well, when wooden toothpicks aren't available, I've been known to use finger nails. I guess that has long precedent.

  36. Richard, next to Gary Taubes you are becoming one of my favorite poop-stirrers. I've been reducing my weight with a very low-carb high-fat diet for over a year now (220lbs to 180lbs at 5'9" – still more to go, I know) and have been tweaking it to be more and more paleo recently. I've been a reader of yours for about 3 months.

    I too have had pretty severe periodontitis that required laser surgery (LANAP – Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) and deep scaling/root planing two years ago which reduced my deepest pockets significantly (from 10-12mm to 5-7mm) and I believe adding Vitamin D and fish oil helped greatly in this end. Like you however, even with meticulous oral hygiene and professional cleanings every 3 months, I would develop significant calculus buildup, especially around the inside of my lower front teeth. Within 3 weeks after a cleaning I could see visible buildup again. Even on a no-grain nearly no-carb diet with supplemental Vitamin D3 and fish oil! It was maddening. My dentist told me that it was just a quirk of my personal biochemistry as to why I would build up calculus so quickly – and that he could tell that my hygiene was very good. Nonetheless he wanted me to start Periostat (doxycycline hyclate) medication.

    The day before my last cleaning 2 months ago I started the Thorne Vitamin K2 drops (2 per day) after reading about them here and added 16-20 hour intermittent fasts 1-2x week to my regimen. I'm due for a cleaning again in 3 weeks and I still have NO calculus that I can detect. Two months and no calculus – that's huge for me. I filled the Periostat script but never took any. Starting a medication with a known side-effect of photosensitivity right at the beginnning of spring seemed unwise. Grok probably didn't eat doxycycline either so I'm not going to unless I have no other choice. I'm looking forward to giving my hygienist and dentist a real suprise. The Vitamin K2 works. Big time. And if I hadn't read about it here then I would've never known.

    The point of this rambling message is that what you are doing here with this blog can and is making a real positive difference in peoples' lives. It seems like it must be a lot of work. Thanks so much for doing it.

    As a side note and curiosity, I did my first fast during my last cleaning. I was at about 19 hours when the cleaning started and I noticed the cleaning was a lot less uncomfortable than usual. I've read how IF can lower inflammation and maybe that has something to do with it. I'm going to try it again next time around.

  37. Ken:

    Sorry that I somehow let this great story slip by. Hard to keep up, but, this is great news and mirrors my experience completely.

  38. Dave McEachern says:

    Hi Richard,

    It seems you've just about conquered dentistry, but there is another frontier.

    I remember reading about it a couple of years ago at lewrockwell.com, couldn't find it in their archives, but I did find this one:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30337386/

    Now that would be some serious agitatin'.

    Dave

  39. Hi,

    I really appreciate all the work you're doing. I started reading your blog and Stephan's and Hyperlypid a few months ago. There are still many entries that I have not read. :)
    Similar story here. Calculus, caries, bleeding gums in my late 20s, lost a tooth during a pregnancy because the carie was under the gumline. You would think I don't brush at all.
    Besides other health problems that appeared as I put on weight after my two pregnancies I had serious periodontitis, with the typical treatment that came too late, as after the scaling my gums receded a lot and it's very visible at the front. For 7 years my dentist told me I had very deep pockets and then told me that in five years I'm going to lose my front teeth. Imagine that. He gave me a referral to a hygienist in December 2006 but with Christmas and the long waiting list I was seen only in March after I had to insist to change my appointment from May to March. Antibiotics, intensive and repeated root scaling everywhere, lots of money spent, etc. After a year, in the autumn of 2008, situation ok, but told to have cleaning done 3-4 times a year. Since last August started low carb/no grain mainly to lose weight and had a cleaning around January. I should schedule an appointment soon, but maybe I should start with the K2 supplementation as you say two weeks before. At this stage I try to keep what I have, because I'm only 41, for Grok's sake. I was and still am angry with my dentist for not sending me earlier to the hygienist and more so for not having a clue about nutrition and dental health.

    I read somewhere that the glycerin from toothpaste interferes with the remineralisation process, it sticks to the tooth's surface. What do you all think?

  40. I think that even had I not begun vitamin A and D supplementation (CLO), and then K2, I still would have been ok just being grain and sugar free. But, the supplementation are sure icing on the cake in my view

    It has now been over a year since the first revelation that things were improving dramatically, and now the transformation is quite dramatic. Not only do my teeth & gums feel fine, they feel fantastic and strong.

  41. Kristina says:

    Along the same lines, tho I still brush, I brush about once a day with soap. Glycerin-free, natural handmade soap. Once a week I'll use baking soda to get rid of stains from coffee and red wine. I also like to rinse my mouth with celtic sea salt.

    I've been doing this for easily 6 months now, and my gums have never felt better. No sensitivity to cold/hot/touch. The translucent areas on my teeth are becoming more opaque, my teeth are noticeably whiter — you can tell compared to a place where the dentist put in some matching "white" filling material at the gum line.

    My mom, who started this before me went to the dentist, and insisted on not getting a cleaning with paste, only baking soda. After the checkup, the dentist told her her teeth had improved and that if she kept it up he would have to go out of business. Then she told him what she'd been doing, and he was very skeptical. But even he'd just remarked on the improvement!

    Since then, I have gotten my fiancé, daughter, brother and sister in law all brushing with soap. Important, though — it should be soap that does not contain glycerin.

  42. Willis Morse says:

    Finally got around to getting some K2 and trying the brushless experiment. Partly just out of curiosity, but also because it seems that dental health is a really good early warning marker for systemic health problems, and the more you keep your mouth healthy artificially, the less effective a marker this is going to be.

    I’ve been grain and sugar free for about a year and a half. I tried going brushless recently for several weeks and started K2 supplementation several days into the experiment. In general I was surprised at how well it worked; no nasty taste or gum pain. But the plaque didn’t miraculously disappear as soon as I started the K2, and I still get some plaque buildup that seems to come and go.

    To anyone who’s doing this, can I get some more details on your experiences? Do you still wake up with fuzzy teeth, for instance? Are your spouses complaining about your morning breath? :-)