Tooth decay and transparency - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-03-2017, 07:56 AM
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Tooth decay and transparency

Hi everyone!

I've been vegan for about 2 years and honestly, this has been the best decision in my life. Everything has been perfect in terms of health, however, from someone who hasn't had problems with their teeth since childhood, I have had to visit the dentist a number of times in the past year. I have had 6 fillings but what worries me more is that my teeth are becoming increasingly transparent along the edges and they've started to hurt whenever I eat some fruits and veggies. Sometimes, they hurt all day long and the pain and discomfort are driving me crazy. I don't consume sugar other than the naturally occurring sugars in plants, I don't eat junk food at all, I brush my teeth 2-3 times a day and floss regularly.

I started taking calcium, vitamin D and vitamin A supplements a couple of months ago, but they don't seem to make any difference, things are only starting to become worse and worse. I am on the brink of freaking out, as my teeth have always been perfect and now they are getting worse and worse so fast. I went to a couple of dentist and all of them advised me to start eating animal products again , which did not surprise me at all, as in my country veganism is not widely accepted. Eating meat and dairy is not really an option for me, I feel sick even at the smell of them, plus I don't think I can cross the ethical line ever again.

Do you have any advice on what to do to prevent my teeth from deteriorating any further? Thanks in advance!

Megan

Last edited by MeganS; 07-03-2017 at 07:59 AM.
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#2 Old 07-03-2017, 09:21 AM
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There is absolutely no reason related to dental health to need animal products of any kind! You don't say where you're from, or what reason the dentists have given you but it strikes me odd quite odd. Have you questioned your dentist before stating you're vegan?

Saying you eat a vegan diet doesn't really say anything beyond not eating animal products.
Do you wait after eating or drinking, particularly anything acidic, before you brush? After acidic foods your enamel is temporarily softened and takes about 20 minutes to remineralize. Brushing during that time will erode your enamel, and I think what sounds like what you're experiencing. Always rinse well before you brush and floss.

What caused you to mention that you were vegan anyway if you knew it would be targeted?

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#3 Old 07-08-2017, 08:40 AM
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Hi Megan!!
I was so interested to see this post by chance on veggieboards, I made an account just to reply to you.
I am a vegan of 4 years.
Dental health has also been a key theme in my life and I've had some learning experience going vegan. it's something i'm always trying to learn more about. I'm not super knowledgeable, but I have found more or less what works for me. i'm not a dentist, obviously.
First thing to consider maybe, is that dentists are experts at filling in holes, patching up teeth, doing extractions etc. They are not experts in the biochemistry of the mouth or the role of diet in dental health. So you don't have to take their advice as face value. They are of course 99% likely to be recommending animal products simply because Carnism is the invisible, wide-spread, institutionalised monster that it is, and seen as 'the right way' and when you have a health problem and you're not a carnist, it's easy to blame your non-carnist diet. Like the person above said, there is no reason you need to eat animal flesh or secretions again. Stay strong in your ethical choice! you don't need to.
I have read a book called "tooth decay... something.." by Ramiel Nagel, and it was really interesting, you could look into it. the man is not a certified nutritionist and a HUGE Weston Price fan and major carnist. He recommends a paleo type diet, but don't use that word. Rich in butter and all types of meat and no grains. Disgusting really, absolutely disgusting, for the animals, and the effect that diet has on the health of the planet, I mean talk about selfish. BUT I think the book covers some good points about the vitamins and minerals that are needed for dental remineralisation (some dentists don't even believe in this, but I have noticed it in my self and there are plenty of anecdotal accounts of it being possible). Fat Soluble vitamins are important, along with phosphorus and calcium and stuff. Plant foods can be a bit lower in fat soluble vitamins, but not impossible to find. So maybe look into that.
That * is referring to the fact that I paraphrased that from doug grahams 801010 book, maybe you know about the diet already. but just for a contrasting approach, he would say excessive fat soluble vitamins or eating higher fat are not at all beneficial or necessary for excellent dental and overall health. don't want to give you a headache- I know it's hard when you're going it alone and battling through all the information and methods you could try, I more want to reassure you that different approaches can be tested.
Calcium and phosphorus could be important ones to consider. you say you are taking supplements, but we have to think about the bioavailability of these nutrients. Supplements are not in nautral form and are not always well absorbed. Maybe try focusing on natural sources of these minerals, prioritising fruit and vegetables are your sources. Try upping your intake of leafy greens, these are great for minerals and calcium and overall thriving health. whack a tahini dressing on there and you've got a lot of calcium and yumminess! Medical Medium- Anthony William- is a treasure trove of information and has some good pointers of tooth decay in his second book. Check him out. and enjoy the ride! boy is he something special (stay open minded ) also check out his dental health podcast of hay house radio- a must! you can access his archive by paying a small fee for a monthly subscription , totally worth it. that podcast has a lot of great info. he says oranges are the best bioavailable form of calcium- they might be challenging at the moment if your teeth are very sensitive though.
which brings me to my next point... brushing. 3 times a day is quite a lot of brush. you should definitely wait at least 20 minutes after eating anything before brushing. 40 if you're in a tricky place at the moment. this is key I have noticed. You brush away the enamel easily when it is softened after eating. so give it some time. In the morning if I won't have time to brush after breakfast before going out i'll try and do it earlier in the morning (not after drinking lemon water though! or tea!!) or i'll pack my teeth stuff and do it on the go. it becomes a habit. THEN the other important thing is to make sure there is absolutely no residue of food on your teeth after eating. I rinse my mouth well with water, or if I have and need my brush use it just to flick the pieces at the back out (but no real brushing!), in public you can easily swirl water around and then just swallow it down. It can also be a good idea to go easy on eating sticky things (e.g. potato crisps, but it doesn't sound like you eat that, maybe crackers etc) and dried fruit alone- they can be bad for sticking to your teeth and leaving traces. try blending dried fruit into smoothies if you eat like that. Datorade is a good idea instead of just dates. dentists will say lay off the smoothies etc. I say no need to fear the natural sugar, it is life giving and will help us gain the health we need to have radiant teeth! have smoothies, and rinse well afterwards. Maybe also don't floss more than once a day either, that might be wearing your gums out a bit? Dentists also say avoid lemon water, but, as per medical mediums wisdom, I think this plays a key role in excellent dental health- again, that podcast lemon kills the unproductive mouth bacteria. just keep the water cool-er, otherwise you've got boiling acid.
STRAWS! straws can be a great help. do the planet a favour and avoid the plastic ones like the plague! they contribute to our islands of plastic in the ocean and get stuck in poor turtles etc.. invest in some good stainless steel/glass wide-ish straws, then you can have as much warm lemon water as you want, and have orange juice, and smoothies, if you feel you don't want these things to touch your teeth always (just drink it straight down and don't first savour it in the mouth.) you won't be able so mix all the carbohydrates with your saliva to start digestion, but hey, we've got to compromise on something here. it's just temporary!

One thing that stayed with me from that book I mentioned is what he said about phytates. Now, if you look into Weston prices work around dental health, don't get dismayed. I don't think his work has been validated with modern medicine and peer-reviewed stellar studies. Basically, phytates are the devil according to him and make teeth remineralisation impossible, and they are high in grains and beans (yeah.. so not such good news for vegans, often our diets are made easy using these daily. plus beans and grains do have many well understood and concensus-backed properties.). for example, oatmeal is extremely high in phytates, and has no phytase which breaks down the phytase, basically in this book it said that phytates block the teeth minerals from being absorbed. I don't really know if it's true. What we do know for sure from science (check out nutritionfacts.org for this and other good videos on dental health) is that phytates are cancer preventing!! so clearly, phytates are not the devil... But.. I do think there are more healing foods to be eaten than grains and beans at a time like yours. If you can, and if it calls to you, and if it makes sense after checking out some of Anthony Williams work maybe consider reducing or avoiding grains and eating more vegetables, easy to eat fruits for your teeth (not too much dried alone) and heaps of potatoes instead of those grains - don't go hungry! keep up that starch and carbs. we don't want you feeling deprived or like you need to go back to animal products.



Maybe you could also consider trying to look for a holistic dentist? There are some dentists too who work with alternative methods like tuning forks and stuff... I don't know, but know that your healer is out there and supporting you! or maybe you'll do it all on your own !

I think that's all I've got for now. I might remember something else.
Seriously, I know how hard it is to eat an angelic-ly vegan zero junk diet and have a health challenge and have no idea what to do next. don't worry. there is a way. research, invest, trust, try. you can have perfect teeth again. There a million ways to be vegan within the vegan diet, you just need some tweaking to get what you need.

Maybe also consider from the mindbody perspective, if you're interested in that and know anything about it, what this could be relating to. What needs paying attention in your life that could be communicated to you through this painful sensitivity in your teeth. Do you feel pained by and sensitive to information you have to ingest or your surroundings ? I can recommend the book "your body speaks your mind" by deb shapiro for more on this.

much love
stay vegan

follow me on Instagram for vegan things! @Claudie maud

p.s. omg I've just had to do one of those human verification test things before posting this and the word I had to copy was "chicken salad".... invisible, institutionalised carnism, as I way saying...
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#4 Old 07-08-2017, 08:44 AM
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one more thing I thought of- if you are using a toothpaste with fluoride (sounds like it might be a good idea in your crisis situation, but in the future you can drop it when you have strong enough teeth. that stuff ain't so holistic..) make sure you don't drink anything for 30 mins after brushing so you can let the fluoride sit on your teeth and do it's job filling the wholes. that means also NO rinsing after brushing, just spit it all out well. I make my own toothpaste most of the time with coconut oil, bicarbonate of soda powder, and peppermint drops. there are lots of homemade recpies and homemade mouthwashes.
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#5 Old 07-09-2017, 12:04 AM
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Dental enamel does NOT grow back. If you want your teeth white again you will have to either use one of the hardening/desensitising toothpastes on the market or go and get a dentist to fix it for you with one of their bonding methods so your teeth are not in contact with things that make it more transparent or in contact with bacteria that will damage your teeth more.

It is usually caused by acid food or by reflux or a lot of antibiotics while the teeth were still forming in the gums (my daughters problem).

So don't brush or floss until 30 min after acid food, and as said above do rinse after food. Use the right tooth paste if you want the enamel damage to look repaired and protect your teeth. (if you can't afford a dentist doing it) and DON'T use a "hard" tooth brush use a "medium" or "soft" one
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#6 Old 07-09-2017, 03:37 AM
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calcium pills effectiveness is in question.

Eat beans, all kind of beans, red beans, black beans, soy beans.
they do wonders.. and tofu too..
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#7 Old 07-09-2017, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by MeganS View Post
Hi everyone!

I've been vegan for about 2 years and honestly, this has been the best decision in my life. Everything has been perfect in terms of health, however, from someone who hasn't had problems with their teeth since childhood, I have had to visit the dentist a number of times in the past year. I have had 6 fillings but what worries me more is that my teeth are becoming increasingly transparent along the edges and they've started to hurt whenever I eat some fruits and veggies. Sometimes, they hurt all day long and the pain and discomfort are driving me crazy. I don't consume sugar other than the naturally occurring sugars in plants, I don't eat junk food at all, I brush my teeth 2-3 times a day and floss regularly.

I started taking calcium, vitamin D and vitamin A supplements a couple of months ago, but they don't seem to make any difference, things are only starting to become worse and worse. I am on the brink of freaking out, as my teeth have always been perfect and now they are getting worse and worse so fast. I went to a couple of dentist and all of them advised me to start eating animal products again , which did not surprise me at all, as in my country veganism is not widely accepted. Eating meat and dairy is not really an option for me, I feel sick even at the smell of them, plus I don't think I can cross the ethical line ever again.

Do you have any advice on what to do to prevent my teeth from deteriorating any further? Thanks in advance!

Megan

Hi Megan,

There aren't many peer-reviewed studies comparing the dental health of vegetarians vs. omnivores.

Here is one such study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23714722 . This study, done in Germany, found that vegetarians had better periodontal (gum) health, fewer loose teeth, and fewer missing teeth than the omnivores. The vegetarians had more dental cavities and erosions than the omnivores.

I am always reluctant to draw conclusions from studies, but it seems that the vegetarians in the study had overall better dental health than the omnivores. Although the vegetarians had tooth decay and erosions, it would appear that, on average, the omnivores were more likely to have tooth decay severity that required tooth extraction.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the world's largest association of Registered Dietitians) makes these recommends for maintaining dental health: http://www.eatright.org/resource/foo...-healthy-teeth

.
.
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_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 07-09-2017 at 06:29 PM.
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#8 Old 07-09-2017, 06:46 PM
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Also from Germany, here is an earlier peer-reviewed study on the dental health of people following a raw diet: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9831783 . Within this study, the people following a raw diet had significantly more dental erosion than the control group.
.
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_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#9 Old 07-09-2017, 06:49 PM
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Honestly, one of the first questions I had when I transitioned to being vegan was what affect it might have on my teeth. I had posted the question on a local vegan facebook group, and immediately received answers from fellow vegans saying that their teeth had never been better, that there is no connection between veganism and poor dental health, and generally implying that it was a dumb question.

My reason for the question initially was because I had read a book called 'Cure Tooth Decay' by Ramiel Nagel (I'm not even sure why I read this! Maybe due to my fear of the dentist, and in attempt to avoid ever having to get fillings). The author basically says that veganism isn't a sustainable diet; that it has its benefits for cleansing and renewing but not for building or maintaining long-term health. He says that ultimately bones and teeth will not be at optimal health on a vegan diet. Of course this is just one book, and there are many different opinions, but it prompted me to ask the question.

In the end, my choice was to continue a vegan diet while supplementing with vitamins D3, K2 and magnesium. I especially recommend magnesium. My dental health has always been good and still is. Hope this helps!

ps. If you drink lemon water and/or a lot of smoothies, please try using a straw if you don't already. My teeth felt really sensitive and the enamel wore off quickly from not using a straw!
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