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Remineralization: can you cure caries with proper nutrition?

  1. The common view is that cavities in teeth are caused by poor oral hygiene (too little or incorrect brushing and flossing), excessive sugar consumption and / or natural predisposition ('bad genes'). ) and can only be repaired by a visit to the dentist. In everyone's mouth, however, a dynamic process takes place of demineralization (the extraction of minerals such as calcium from the tooth) on the one hand, which leads to cavities and on the other hand remineralization (the recovery of incipient caries). The question, however, is what role nutrition plays in these processes. It is generally accepted that sugary and acidic foods stimulate demineralization. However, there are also studies that indicate that remineralization can be stimulated with nutrition rich in vitamins and minerals. In this way, the natural repair of incipient cavities ('enamel caries', or caries that has not yet reached the dentine) can be promoted, it is argued.

Remineralization: natural caries repair

  1. Caries occurs as a result of demineralization, which means that minerals (especially calcium) are removed from the enamel (or dentin) of the tooth. Demineralization is stopped or even reversed when remineralization takes place. In this case, the tooth recovers, so that the caries is healed. Demineralization and remineralization are two dynamic processes that determine whether cavities in teeth or molars develop or repair.

Cavities in tooth enamel versus cavities in dentin

  1. The visible part of a tooth is called the crown of the tooth. The crown consists of several layers. The outer, visible part of the crown is the tooth enamel (or also called tooth enamel, after the English term tooth enamel). This layer covers the dentin.

Cavities in tooth enamel (enamel caries)

  1. The human body can repair cavities in tooth enamel by means of remineralization. For this reason, dentists will usually not fill small, incipient cavities, knowing that the tooth can still recover as long as the caries has not reached the dentin.

Cavities in dentine

  1. Caries starts in the tooth enamel but can spread to the dentine. Once the hole has reached the dentin, the caries cannot be repaired naturally. In this case, a visit to the dentist is necessary. The sooner this visit follows, the better, so that the caries can be prevented from spreading further and eventually a root canal treatment may also be necessary.

Repair incipient cavities with proper nutrition?

  1. It is generally accepted that enamel caries in teeth can be slowed down or even reversed by discouraging demineralization and promoting remineralization. The question, however, is what role food plays in this.

Examination of children with cavities

  1. In a study published in 1932 in the British Medical Journal, 62 children with cavities in their teeth were divided into three groups. Group 1 followed a normal diet supplemented with food rich in phytic acid (oatmeal), group 2 ate a normal diet supplemented with vitamin D supplements and group 3 ate grain-free food and also took vitamin D supplements.

Minerals and vitamins that are crucial for caries repair

  1. The current view on the influence of nutrition on tooth decay is that excessive sugar consumption should be avoided. However, from the insights of Edward Mellanby (the discoverer of vitamin D) and Weston Price (a Canadian dentist who has done a lot of research into the relationship between nutrition and the health of teeth and humans in general) Ramiel Nagel concludes in his book Cure Tooth Decay: Remineralize Cavities Repair Your Teeth Naturally With Good Food that there are four eating patterns that can lead to tooth decay:

Guidance for correct feeding patterns

  1. The four points mentioned above can be elaborated into a nutritional plan that, according to Ramiel Nagels, optimally supports the recovery of caries by stimulating remineralization and discouraging demineralization. Such a nutrition plan can be designed in many ways, with the following points serving as a guide.

Avoid sugar

  1. Sugar is the most common culprit for caries-free teeth. Foods that should be avoided for this reason include:

Avoid (phytic) acid

  1. Phytic acid makes it more difficult for the body to absorb minerals and for this reason should be avoided as minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus are crucial for the (re) mineralization of teeth. Foods high in phytic acid include:

Eat foods rich in minerals and vitamins

  1. Sugar and acidic foods should be avoided, but foods rich in minerals and vitamins should be fully consumed for the repair of enamel caries. Especially recommended are:

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