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Would You Brush With Charcoal?

A healing toothpaste unlike any you'll find at the store.

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by Angela Gallardo in Articles, Body, Recipes

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Today I’m discussing something I feel needs a lot more exposure in the natural health and wellness industry, and is one that I’ve experienced personally.

The issue:  you’ve been eating a Paleo-style diet for awhile but your dental health continues to suffer.

Poor Dental Health Despite Eating Paleo

This topic relates back to a belief I have that even a stellar diet is not always sufficient to bring a person to a fully well state.  Whether it be dental, digestive, reproductive, immune function, or even mental health, if the habits or circumstances in a person’s life have put their body into a great enough level of dis-ease, righting the situation may require more than just a change in diet.  Supplementation with vitamins or minerals, major lifestyle changes, hormone replacement therapy, or more invasive procedures may be necessary.

So let’s take a look at how this principle applies to those of us dedicated to eating a Paleo-style diet (often for years) while continuing to have dental issues arise.

A little back story:  I have a pretty bad history of dental health.  From a very early age, my mouth was filled with amalgam fillings.  I even won a short story contest in the 2nd grade for my take on Judith Viorst’s children book (I still have the silver dollar I won to prove it).  My rendition was titled Angela’s Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (clever, I know) and it detailed a day of two separate visits to the dentist, both morning and afternoon so they could numb & fill one side of my mouth and then the other.  Obviously, it was pretty traumatizing experience.  My poor dental health continued as a teenager and young adult when I went on to get numerous fillings in my permanent teeth (I’ve lost count), as well as 6 root canals, with 5 of those needing crowns.

Fast forward to February of this year.  My most recent checkup showed zero(!!) cavities and I thought I’d put this bad teeth thing behind me with Paleo.  You can imagine how surprised I was when I woke up one day with a really bad ache in my jaw.  After seeing two endodontists and a jaw specialist to rule out TMJ issues (of which I also deal with on occasion), no one could give me a definitive answer.  Nothing was showing up on x-ray, which was surprising since I’ve come to associate that level of pain with an abscess in the roots. (diet definitely helped as there was no visible infection!) One specialist was certain there was a crack, which generally can’t be seen on x-ray, and the other thought a tooth *maybe* needed a re-treatment of the root canal.  Not very encouraging news from supposed experts, right?

Long story short, I began to doubt modern day dentistry much more than I had before.  Late nights worrying over the loss of a tooth (who wants to chew meat with a missing molar?!) led me to find this book: Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition by Ramiel Nagel.  In the book, Mr. Nagel covers how modern dentistry works (and why it falls short), why the teeth should not be viewed as separate from the whole body system, whether dental health is hereditary, and what to do to naturally heal/strengthen your teeth.  Most of his recommendations are based off of Dr. Weston A. Price’s recommendations, with a few adjustments regarding grains based on modern research that has come to light since Dr. Price’s passing.

—>>> The following is my takeaway from the book and how with just 2 weeks of effort,  my tooth pain went away completely.  Of course, if you have a history of dental issues or have young children who do, I highly recommended reading the full book yourself.

1.  Getting ample amounts of fat-soluble vitamins is the key to good dental health.  Most importantly A, D(3), E, and K(2), particularly with A and D in balanced levels.   Grass-fed mammal/wild fish organs and raw grass-fed dairy are the most significant sources.  But most people transitioning  to full Paleo don’t eat organs regularly (myself, included) and many people avoid dairy, causing these important vitamins to be absent in the diet.

What I did:  I switched the liquid Vitamin D3 supplement I’d been taking previously to this blend of Vitamin D3/K2.  I was already taking cod liver oil (the highest documented source of balanced A and D) but I was inconsistent with it.  I doubled my daily dosage of both supplements until one week after the pain had subsided.

2.  Years of eating grains can cause a depletion of important minerals that are vital to dental health, namely calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc (due to the phytic acid in grains binding to these minerals).  Food sources with the greatest levels are also organ meats, particularly livers.

What I did: I doubled my intake of desiccated liver capsules (this is the one I use now) until well after the pain subsided when I went back to the standard dose.  I made liver pate regularly. I also began to eat a couple of raw oysters 2-3 times per week (major source of zinc), which I still do.  If raw oysters aren’t for you, you can get a good-quality zinc supplement but make sure to balance it with copper (20 mg of zinc for every 2 g of copper).

3.  Store-bought toothpastes (even many of the *natural* brands) have harmful ingredients that will do nothing for your teeth, particularly if your diet is lacking in the above vitamins and minerals.

What I did: I set to create my own re-mineralizing toothpaste (recipe below).  I filled it with antibacterial coconut oil, baking soda to alkalize the mouth (tooth decay thrives in an acidic environment), mineral-rich earth clay, additional minerals like calcium and magnesium, and essential oils to further fight bacteria naturally.  I switched to a softer bristle brush and brush with a liberal amount of the paste two times a day.

4.  Although not covered in the book, research shows the effectiveness in oil pulling as a preventive measure against dental decay.

What I did:  though I had oil pulled previously, I had never stuck with it.  So I began to oil pull once daily with coconut oil (here’s a good how-to) and a bit of Doterra OnGuard essential oils mixed in.

My Toothpaste Recipe

Today, I’m sharing the toothpaste recipe that even my husband has switched over to without any prodding.  He began noticing how white my teeth were looking (thanks to the activated charcoal) and he was sold.  I’ve gone through a few variations and it wasn’t until recently when I read on the Acure website that their castille soap can be used on your teeth that I knew it would improve my recipe.  For those thinking it’s crazy to use castille in your mouth, I had the same thought.  But adding just the right amount helps to pull the gritty away from your teeth when you rinse (previously it felt like a sticky mask that was harder to rinse off) and it doesn’t taste soapy at all.

This recipe is exclusive to subscribers.  Just click below and you’ll be emailed a copy!

Get a printable PDF of the recipe


Disclaimer:  as always, I am not a health care professional and none of this information is shared as a diagnosis for your particular issues.  I simply share what works for me and you can take it or leave it as you like.

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