Whilst I was in Chanthaburi at the durian festival in Thailand in May last year, I had a quarter of a rear lower molar crumble away. At the time I passed it off as past lifestyle bad habits catching up with me and continued on. Over the last few months my teeth became sensitive and I developed a dull ache in the left side of my jaw. I ignored it for a couple of months until I saw a post on facebook of another 811er having teeth issues. So I went to the dentist - an expensive holistic one in the heart of Melbourne. I had to have an x-ray before seeing him which he viewed before I was called in. He said my teeth overall are severely decayed and in the top 1% of cases in Australia. He said he personally has never seen a patient with such bad decay. This was before he even looked in my mouth. The x-ray showed that most of my rear molars are hollow and on the verge of crumbling. He then proved it to me by gently probing areas of decay which made me cry out in pain. He told me I have to quit the soft drinks, lollies, chocolates, and highly processed sugary foods immediately if I have any chance of saving my teeth. He gave me an estimate of $20,000 to repair the damage done which included a minimum of 3 root canals and 16 large fillings. I left his office in shock.
So I started researching and came to what I consider a solution which is not 100% vegan. In the last 2 and a half weeks I have added a small amount of non-vegan foods to my diet. I won’t discuss that any further here as I respect that this is a vegan forum. I’ve decided to post this here in the hope that a discussion can be initiated.
So what I’d like to ask this community is what have I done wrong and is there a vegan way to correct it? I would like to be 100% vegan but I currently believe that 99% is the way to go. I’m desperate for a solution which has led me down the 1% non-vegan foods path. It was not a decision I made lightly.
Before we start this I’ll tell you a bit about what I have been doing as a raw vegan;
That’s all I can think of at the moment. Ask for anything I may have missed.
I request that only people who have been on this diet for a minimum of 3 years or have a nutritional background reply. The reason being is that at 2 and a half years on 811 I thought my teeth were the best they had ever been and in general I felt amazing. Things only started going downhill a couple of months after that with the crumbling of my first tooth.
Thanks for all the replies and sorry it's taken me awhile to answer questions, I've been entertaining a friend from interstate (also 811 with teeth issues who lives with another 811 with teeth issues) so haven't had much time on the computer in the last few days.
There's been some interesting suggestions especially getting a bone scan and possible liver issues. I'm getting a bone scan on the 4th of July so will let you all know the results of that and will look further into possible liver issues although my liver function tests are fine.
Dental hygiene is a hard one as I have an ex girlfriend friend and have heard before that too much brushing/flossing can lead to receding gums. I currently rinse and brush after every meal but will look into some of the less invasive flosses.
As for my non-vegan consumption, it's limited to invertebrates and some eggs and makes up about 1% of my diet. As far as I can see this is the example nature gives us via our cousin primates and that is where I currently choose to put my faith. Not really interested in debating this.
I agree that fasting could have been the cause of this but I also think that after a year and a half if this diet is the healthiest my body should have been replenishing anything that was depleted. Judging by how I've been feeling I've obviously been lacking something. Since the additions to my diet I've been feeling incredible! Things improved with the B12 shots but still felt pretty average. Feel like I'm thriving for the first time in my life!
So I'm still 99% 811 raw vegan so I hope people can still accept me here. I've been doing this for 3 weeks and will be getting another blood test at the 3 month mark and then another blood test, dental x-ray, and bone density scan at 6 months. So consider this an experiment and hey if it doesn't work I can be the poster boy for what not to do! I can't afford any dental work anyway.
p.s In regards to my weight, I've been around 56kgs for my whole adult life. Within the first few months of 811 I lost 8 kgs and have only put it back on since fasting. So if I was anorexic and fasting is bad then I'm very confused.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
Hi Andrew, thanks for the reply!
Been looking into K2 supplements and am considering it. My vit D levels are really high and my calcium is good also. One thing that was flagged on my last blood test was low Phosphorus. I've been reading about a dentist Melvin Page who claims tooth decay is caused by a disturbance in the calcium to phosphorus ratio in the blood. It should be 2.5:1. Mine is 3:1 which according to him leads to calcium being pulled from the bones/teeth. I also read that low phosphorus turns teeth yellow.
So let me see if I get this straight... I shouldn't just worry about getting approximately 50% of the RDA of calcium, I should worry about getting 2.5X more than my phosphorous number?
In the last few months every time I get some good papaya its all I want to eat. Definitely makes sense!
Bingo. We may have found the problem, folks! :) It may probably his/their calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. Phosphorus and calcium make up most of the bone in the body. 85% of the body's phosphorus is found in bone. And although teeth are not "bones" per se', they are made up of calcium, phosphorus, mineral salts, etc.
I did a **quick** google search right now on the phosphorus and insects. Insects apparently have high amounts of phosphorus, which is why animal products may be working for you.
Mini-rant: Minerals are SO important, folks. I cannot emphasize enough how important minerals are. Lots of vegetables. Lots of leafy greens. I would even say in the form of green/vegetable juices (and yes, I know, it is not advertised in the site). It's 80/10/10! Not 9/5/5. Not 100% fruit. 80/10/10. It takes about 28 bananas or so to meet the RDA for phosphorus, and even then, the mineral content varies in fruit, so God knows what we are getting in our food, if we don't grow it ourselves! End mini-rant.
Also, if you prefer and I would recommend, because supplementing an isolated nutrient may not be as effective (nutrition is SYNERGISTIC and HOLISTIC!), you may want to find a premium quality vegan multivitamin with the whole vegan enchilada/ nutrient range.
Finally, I brush my teeth 2-3x a day, and floss just about daily, with conventional toothpaste. My teeth look white, minus a few spots where I had inner braces. Time for a cleaning (haven't had one in a while)! Get the drift? :)
IMO We gotta balance what nature has given us with science. Not brushing for the sake of purity is going to lead to not-so-nice smiles.
Hope this helps, Stephen and Ashley!
P.S. Taking into account the claims/theories of Melvin Page, do you think your "normal" calcium blood levels may be a result of the "leached" calcium, and that you may be in fact be low in both phosphorus and calcium? This may be causing an unwanted cycle of mineral leaching. Just a thought that came into my head..... not sure if it makes sense! I have read that too much calcium depletes phosphorus. In any case, I say WHOLE, synergistic nutrition as opposed to isolated nutrition. This may stop the cycle and provide homeostasis.
P.P.S. I keep noticing things, and I forget to mention them. Your vitamin D levels sound like they are pretty high.... and high vitamin D may cause a buildup of calcium --> leach phosphorus --> imbalance. I am glad you got your B12 up, but it has passed the UL toxicity level. You may want to do less shots or less often.
Okay, I am done now! :)
Yes I did read that levels of calcium in the blood can register normal when phosphorus is low due to minerals being pulled from the bones into the blood. I have no understanding of how this works though. Blood sugar spikes are also meant to play a part.
Id get second opinions. If you're a low income earner you will get your dental work done for free too.
Sign up with a tuperware container full of mealworms and tell them your predicament and fruit adventures. ;)
Yeah? You can get free dental as a low income earner? I had kind of accepted that I had no way of getting them fixed. This is news to me. How do I go about this?
One of my family members (not raw, nor 811, nor vegan) recently got free dental work.
She went in for a filling and was in so much pain that within 1-2 days she went back and they pulled the tooth.
My understanding is that in Australia, the free dental work is usually done by studying dentists getting their experience up, so I'd either look right into it first and/or perhaps get something minor fixed first to build some confidence in the dentist you get, though with free dental, I'm not sure you'd be sure of getting the same dentist when you come back.
Damaged teeth are difficult to clean, so I'd recommend getting fixed whatever problems you can before they get worse. Its a vicious trap waiting for teeth to heal, not only because its tough to remove the cause of a problem you don't understand, but also because for most people the problem just gets worse until pain forces them to act.
Just wondering what is your dental hygiene practice?. What has your experience been on the diet and teeth any other advice to give?
Also I had/ have teeth issues. Before becoming vegetarian, high raw/vegan that is. Insufficient dental hygiene/ routine seems to generate discomfort. Without wanting to "promote"/ sell a factory made product I honestly have to admit that the use of the dental cream "HIMALAYA" (Ayurvedic/vegan...), helped me taking care of my mouth,. The use of clove placed/ left (until dissolved) near the affected area has also proven beneficial. Katrina Blair shows how to make real vegetal dental paste by ourselves on a show (you tube ?).
Thanks for starting this discussion.
Preventive dental care is imperative- no matter what your diet.
All my adult life I have gotten regular cleanings and brush and FLOSS daily. Flossing is more important than brushing in my opinion.
For someone with close together teeth, like Stephen, it's even more important to get the small bits of food removed from in between teeth. That is the quickest way to dental decay.
In your case, Stephen, since flossing is so painful and difficult, a really good alternative is to use a water pik. They cost about $50 but will do the same job as flossing without the gum pain. And according to my dentist is even more effective.
I don't know anyone who is an adult who was raised on a completely raw, high carb diet. All of us have SAD backgrounds to some degree. None of us is a true "Nature" boy or girl, so we must take excellent care of our teeth or expect trouble. Same as omnivores.
I invested on the WaterPik for our whole family to use, especially since my kids hate to floss and won't do it effectively or let me do it. They liked the Water Pik but would spray it around the bathroom. Then after about 3 months of use, my daughter was unplugging it and the plug separated from the cord, shocking her.
I have been thinking to invest in a Shower Floss, but I have hard, unfiltered tap water going through my shower. And my kids don't shower every day. And it's expensive... :(
I personally have been flossing religiously for the past 4 months.
I am a big fan of VeganFloss. Because my teeth are close together, I have to used a coated floss string. VeganFloss is made by Ecodent and coats the floss with essential oils that are said to be antibacterial.