"vegans hate dentists" - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-11-2015, 07:40 AM
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"vegans hate dentists"

So I have heard a few times online cautionary tales of bad teeth and poor bone health after going vegan.

the "beyond veg" website has accounts of children raised vegan with crumbling teeth.

the recurring theme seems to be that vegans dont take in enough vitamin k-2 and dietary phosphorus. Which sound like pretty obscure nutrients.

But when I type in what I eat into chron-o-meter I am getting more than adequate intake of nutrients, even with no animal products. (where is the deficiency?)

What gives? Do vegans really hate dentists? Are they more likely to have poor teeth and bone health?
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#2 Old 06-11-2015, 08:28 AM
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I had horrible teeth in my early twenties as a vegan. I stopped being vegan for seven years, and now I've been vegan again for two and a half months. I'm terrified that my teeth are going to start a new decline.

I've read a lot about k2, and though it's mostly pushed by Weston A price and people like that, I've seen some objective scientific studies that make it seem like a legitimate and important nutrient for tooth, bone and even heart health. I'm sorry, but I don't have links to the studies I saw at the moment. Most of them had to do with heart disease prevention. The idea is that k2 gets calcium to your bones and teeth where you need it. Otherwise the calcium can calcify your arteries. Ouch.

You get K1 from kale, but that's apparently only for blood health. K2 comes from Natto and fermented veggies, if you use the right culture or something like that. It's also plentiful in animal foods which is why Weston A Price and friends push it.

I've been a little bit let down that the vegan medical community online hasn't addressed this more -- at least not to my knowledge. It's my understanding that the Epic Oxford study found vegans to be around thirty percent more likely to have bone fractures. This could be part of the reason, or even the whole reason. Vitamin D is important, too, but it's looking to me like that might not be enough. And, vegans do still get heart disease, maybe less than omnivores, but, I'd rather avoid it altogether if possible. Lack of k2 could be part of the reason we still die from heart attacks.

Anyway, I've never tried natto. I want to try it, and ferment my own veggies, but I'm pretty lazy, so I'm thinking about looking into a vegan K2 supplement.
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#3 Old 06-11-2015, 09:55 AM
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While I'm not a vegan (I'm a strict vegetarian), my teeth are in amazing shape and most dentists/dental hygienists say my teeth are perfect.



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#4 Old 06-11-2015, 09:57 AM
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I think the biggest factor in teeth is genetic. My ex had soft, thin teeth like his Dad. He brushed regularly and always had cavities. His sister got teeth like their Mom and even though she didn't brush as much, she never had cavities. I ate sugar like a madwoman as a child and didn't have a single cavity until I was 13 or 15.



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#5 Old 06-11-2015, 12:06 PM
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I've looked into this as well but I wasn't able to find a lot of information on it. I think that there just hasn't been a lot of research on the subject. I've been vegan for somewhere between 2-3 years and not had any issues yet but I want to also ensure I don't develop any.

Another thing to factor in is acid. All the fruit that gets munched is apparently bad for your teeth over time so personally I try to remove the acid in my mouth with some water. No idea if it helps or not but it's so easy that I am willing to do it with no evidence that it helps at all.
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#6 Old 06-11-2015, 12:17 PM
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I have low bone density and my dentist said that has no bearing on the health of my teeth. FWIW, I was diagnosed with the low bone density (osteopenia) waaaay before I went vegan. My teeth are another story. I destroyed them by having acid reflux for so long, also not vegan-relayed.

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#7 Old 06-11-2015, 12:45 PM
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I haven't read any research on this, but my personal experience has been one of excellent dental health. I've never had a cavity, and as a child my teeth were so strong that my baby teeth had to be forcibly removed-- they just wouldn't fall out on their own! I can only suppose, like @danakscully64 , that it's largely genetic.
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#8 Old 06-11-2015, 01:54 PM
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Lets say this is true that there's a trend that Vegans are more likely to suffer dental problems. Does that negate the positive effects of Veganism? Less likely to get chronic diseases, longer life expectancy etc..


I doubt it.
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#9 Old 06-11-2015, 03:13 PM
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I have great teeth, which isnt bragging, its just the truth. I had my first and only cavity at 25, after a year of everyday solid acid reflux. Other than that, smooth sailing. I do have pretty anal retentive oral hygene habits though!

My son (age 6) has had some pretty bad cavities in between his molars, but he has always consumed dairy ( a large amount) so I am sure the K would be covered. However he has thin enamel and deep crevices in his molars (says the dentist) and he said sometimes the first set of teeth are just poorer quality.

My husband also has "good teeth" despite seriously lackadaisical care. The other night he ate a few palmfuls of dried figs, then hopped into bed without brushing. I would never do that!
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#10 Old 06-11-2015, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Vidal Pierre View Post
Lets say this is true that there's a trend that Vegans are more likely to suffer dental problems. Does that negate the positive effects of Veganism? Less likely to get chronic diseases, longer life expectancy etc..


I doubt it.
No, but if it is a problem I'd certainly like to know. It's entirely solvable.
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#11 Old 06-12-2015, 06:47 AM
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I was at the dentist a couple months ago and was told I had great teeth. I'm in my mid thirties and haven't had a cavity yet. But since you brought this up I'll start looking into the vitamin k thing.
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#12 Old 06-12-2015, 07:27 AM
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I was at the dentist a couple months ago and was told I had great teeth. I'm in my mid thirties and haven't had a cavity yet. But since you brought this up I'll start looking into the vitamin k thing.
if you find anything interesting please update in this thread!
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#13 Old 06-12-2015, 06:08 PM
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I have been strict vegan for four years and three months and have not had a single cavity or other problem with my teeth. Every time I go to the dentist I get an excellent report. It takes them far less time to clean my teeth than it did before I went vegan. I am however fairly strict about my diet and don't eat a lot of sugar and I rarely eat out.

when I was growing up I had all kinds of trouble with my teeth. I had to have nine teeth pulled (I had too many teeth), braces, retainer, the whole nine yards. I used to get cavities all the time as a teen and into my twenties until I cleaned up my diet and cut out all soda pop and fast food.

I also have very low bone density, diagnosed full osteoporosis ten years ago, but it has not had an effect on my teeth at all. At least not yet. My low bone density came long before going vegan (I lost my ovaries and entered surgical menopause when I was 33 years old in 2005).

I do vacillate back and forth between fluoride free toothpaste and toothpaste with fluoride (Kiss My Face brand for vegans). At one point I was doing the baking soda paste deal but that got old fast lol. I don't know that either makes a huge difference. I also eat a lot of leafy greens.
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#14 Old 06-12-2015, 09:27 PM
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I am interested in anything that is found out about this. I am not a vegan. I am lacto-ovo. My teeth were in excellent health until I had cancer. The amount of radiation that I had go through my body has all but ruined them. I have two cavities now that I have to attend to. Although I am committed to being veggie for good this time around my eating habits bare no correlation to my teeth. They are pretty much screwed anyway from cancer treatment.
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#15 Old 06-12-2015, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Naturebound View Post
I have been strict vegan for four years and three months and have not had a single cavity or other problem with my teeth. Every time I go to the dentist I get an excellent report. It takes them far less time to clean my teeth than it did before I went vegan. I am however fairly strict about my diet and don't eat a lot of sugar and I rarely eat out.

when I was growing up I had all kinds of trouble with my teeth. I had to have nine teeth pulled (I had too many teeth), braces, retainer, the whole nine yards. I used to get cavities all the time as a teen and into my twenties until I cleaned up my diet and cut out all soda pop and fast food.

I also have very low bone density, diagnosed full osteoporosis ten years ago, but it has not had an effect on my teeth at all. At least not yet. My low bone density came long before going vegan (I lost my ovaries and entered surgical menopause when I was 33 years old in 2005).

I do vacillate back and forth between fluoride free toothpaste and toothpaste with fluoride (Kiss My Face brand for vegans). At one point I was doing the baking soda paste deal but that got old fast lol. I don't know that either makes a huge difference. I also eat a lot of leafy greens.
This was a great post, but I have to say, omg there is a vegan toothpaste?! I can get kiss my face stuff up at the local Walmart no problem. I am excited.
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#16 Old 06-13-2015, 12:50 AM
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i hated the dentist before I was vegan and I still hate them now haha
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#17 Old 06-13-2015, 04:18 AM
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vitamin k-2 isnt an essential nutrient, your body creates all the k-2 you need if you have sufficient vitamin k intake
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#18 Old 06-13-2015, 05:32 AM
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I don't know about k-2 and teeth....but the milk industry and lobbyists do EVERYTHING they can to brain wash us (and it works) into believing that we desperately need milk and milk products (cheese, etc.) to get our calcium. And thus, they say, without milk and milk products we run the risk of osteoporosis.

The findings of independent research (not paid for by the milk industry) have shown that consuming milk (and other animal proteins) actually leads to bone density issues and osteoporosis.

Consuming animal proteins--including milk--causes high levels of acidity throughout the body whereby the body--in an effort to alkalize--leeches calcium from the bones which inevitably leads to bone density issues.

So, contrary to decades of misinformation from the milk industry, staying AWAY from milk and other animal products goes a long way to lower the risk of bone density issues.

If you think this is hog-wash, take a serious look into it.
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#19 Old 06-13-2015, 06:15 AM
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I am interested in anything that is found out about this. I am not a vegan. I am lacto-ovo. My teeth were in excellent health until I had cancer. The amount of radiation that I had go through my body has all but ruined them. I have two cavities now that I have to attend to. Although I am committed to being veggie for good this time around my eating habits bare no correlation to my teeth. They are pretty much screwed anyway from cancer treatment.
I'm so sorry you had to suffer through cancer. My heart goes out to you. As a cancer medical coder who sees countless people battling cancer daily, I can attest to the damaging effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as the cancer itself. Though both treatments have saved people's lives as well. It's a tough situation all around. I hope your health continues to grow stronger each day. HUGS

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#20 Old 06-13-2015, 07:20 AM
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i hated the dentist before I was vegan and I still hate them now haha
Meeeee tooooo
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#21 Old 06-13-2015, 07:23 AM
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I don't know about k-2 and teeth....but the milk industry and lobbyists do EVERYTHING they can to brain wash us (and it works) into believing that we desperately need milk and milk products (cheese, etc.) to get our calcium. And thus, they say, without milk and milk products we run the risk of osteoporosis.

The findings of independent research (not paid for by the milk industry) have shown that consuming milk (and other animal proteins) actually leads to bone density issues and osteoporosis.

Consuming animal proteins--including milk--causes high levels of acidity throughout the body whereby the body--in an effort to alkalize--leeches calcium from the bones which inevitably leads to bone density issues.

So, contrary to decades of misinformation from the milk industry, staying AWAY from milk and other animal products goes a long way to lower the risk of bone density issues.

If you think this is hog-wash, take a serious look into it.
I admit I have been totally brain washed by the dairy industry. Literally the only way I can cope with the anxiety of not giving my kids regular dairy is by purchasing alternatives and serving them instead.

I buy calcium fortified orange juice and plant milks, vegan cheese, and soy-gurt. I serve them like I would dairy products (2 to 3 servings per day)

Mentally, I can replace the dairy with vegan alternatives, but I cant just drop the dairy-like foods altogether. Too scary for me.
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#22 Old 06-13-2015, 07:48 AM
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Yeah, when my kids were young, I thought I HAD to give them dairy for proper bone growth.

I ruined my teeth long before I went vegan. I can point out that they are not worsening as quickly as they were. But I can't even say that is from being veggie, as I have cut sodas and a lot of sugary foods from my diet.
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#23 Old 06-13-2015, 08:31 AM
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Why are people reading and believing the claims on propaganda websites like "beyondveg" and the Weston A. Price Foundation (or PETA, for that matter)?


If you want credible information, it's much better to read the studies in peer-reviewed journals, like the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Diabetes Journal, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. These journals aren't perfect, but they do insist on properly scientific methodology. By reading articles in these journals, you can see where the weight of the evidence is.


Just do a Google search for "peer-reviewed dental vegan". This should bring up links to peer-reviewed studies of dental health and vegan diets.

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#24 Old 06-13-2015, 09:47 AM
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Why are people reading and believing the claims on propaganda websites like "beyondveg" and the Weston A. Price Foundation (or PETA, for that matter)?


If you want credible information, it's much better to read the studies in peer-reviewed journals, like the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Diabetes Journal, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. These journals aren't perfect, but they do insist on properly scientific methodology. By reading articles in these journals, you can see where the weight of the evidence is.


Just do a Google search for "peer-reviewed dental vegan". This should bring up links to peer-reviewed studies of dental health and vegan diets.
Is beyondVeg a propaganda site? I thought it was a collection of first person accounts of those on raw foodist/natural hygeine style diets. Also former "hallelujah diet" followers have shared accounts (another raw vegan diet, but with more restrictions)

I am unsure of how raw food vegans would be different dental health wise than plain ol' vegans.... Which is why I checked out beyond veg... ( it popped up in my search results of the topic)

Dr.gregor of nutrition facts.org has a lot to say on vegan dental health, but the take home message seems to be more about dental hygiene practices versus dietary choices as having more impact on tooth health.
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#25 Old 06-13-2015, 09:49 AM
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Is nutritionfacts.org considered a reliable source of information? I enjoy his videos so I hope so!
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#26 Old 06-13-2015, 10:05 AM
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This is the first time I've heard anything about vitamin K2 or phosphorus being a problem for vegans or strict vegetarians. Vitamin B-12, definitely, if they don't take a supplement for this or eat foods fortified with it; or they might wind up short of calcium or vitamin D, and have to supplement with them also if they don't eat enough green leafy vegetables or get enough sunlight exposure.

The only thing I worry about, teeth-wise, is my love of citrus and other tangy fruits. The naturally-occurring acids in these can do a number on your teeth if you don't rinse your mouth out with water right afterwards. Some dentists also warn about brushing your teeth too soon after eating something acid: your tooth enamel is softer right after exposure to acidic food/drink, and more easily damaged by brushing.

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#27 Old 06-13-2015, 10:30 AM
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i hated the dentist before I was vegan and I still hate them now haha
I'm weird, I love the dentist I have an amazing one I go to, they are so nice and gentle. I go every 6 months to get a cleaning and keep up on everything. The worst thing you can do is not go because you hate them, then require more work because you put it off. I want to keep my pearly whites forever



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#28 Old 06-13-2015, 10:32 AM
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My teeth are ok, I get told off by my dentist for scrubbing too hard and damaging my gums so I use soft brushes but overall they are fine. I've always brushed twice a day but I'm rubbish with remembering to floss regularly. I eat citrus and sugar but in moderate quantities.

I don't mind visiting the dentist... he's very easy on the eyes

That awkward moment when your partner walks into the kitchen to find you huddled in the corner with an open container of nooch and a spoon and your mouth encrusted with little flakes...  
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#29 Old 06-13-2015, 10:58 AM
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I'm weird, I love the dentist I have an amazing one I go to, they are so nice and gentle. I go every 6 months to get a cleaning and keep up on everything. The worst thing you can do is not go because you hate them, then require more work because you put it off. I want to keep my pearly whites forever
I love my current dentist! After being so phobic for 7 years because of a butcher who appartently couldn't afford enough novocaine I found a great, espensive, dentist. I've had almost every filling replaced, root canals, porceline crowns, and two implants!
Bad teeth run in my family. I've had cavities at each session growing up, and was always taken for cleanings. I was about 30 when the hacker doc happened-and omni.

Since seeing my current dentist, with twice yearly cleaning by a wonderful hygenist, I've been cavity free-and vegan.

Things I'd consider:

There is a larger percentage of people into being vegan that are into a completely 'natural' lifestyle, with a dislike of doctors, dentists, and what they consider modern personal care.

Genetics

Possibly more veg'ns lack funds for care than omnis?

And as Tom states- after any acid ( I say eating/drinking.)
wait like 20 minutes and I rinse first.
Always floss before bed at the least
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#30 Old 06-13-2015, 02:55 PM
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I'm so sorry you had to suffer through cancer. My heart goes out to you. As a cancer medical coder who sees countless people battling cancer daily, I can attest to the damaging effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as the cancer itself. Though both treatments have saved people's lives as well. It's a tough situation all around. I hope your health continues to grow stronger each day. HUGS


Thanks for that Naturebound. I am glad that radiation saved my life. I am stronger now, but my teeth just won't ever be the same. Such is life. One day soon I hope I can at least have a holding pattern for all of this.
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