I think it is !
We are not trying to single out 811 as giving teeth problems, we are just here to give solid advice on how to take care of your teeth. There are plenty of diets that wreak havoc on the teeth and many people have bad teeth because of it (example)
HI Fellow primates :)
Thought with the last discussion with Stephen on teeth and hearing story of others having issues with their teeth that it would be good to post this discussion for 4 reasons,
1) as a warning to people on the diet to take care of their teeth properly.
2) Possibly we can change the recommendations that we give on this website (such as the LFRV pamphlet) to something like Frederic Patenaude or Don Bennet recommends. Which in short is something to kill bacteria to keep it in check. I have heard many people say that water just does not cut it from them and once they started using a good toothpaste or something else it really helped their teeth and gums (I am one of them).
3) to open the discussion to ask people what their hygiene protocol is to hear what people have to say so we can possibly come up with the best recommendations. Maybe I am the only one that brushing with water worked badly who knows (but I don' think so :)
Please answer the following
-How long you have been on the diet 100%?
-Has your teeth improved, remain the same or gotten worst.
-What is your dental hygiene protocol, Has it changed? what are your results.
-When was the last time you saw the dentist and were the results?
4)I love this diet and all that goes with it but I agree with Fred that I find quite a few people start to have teeth issues and blame the diet for nutrition reasons and abandon the diet thinking there is some deficiency. Unfortunately when people go 811 they also tend to abandon some key hygiene practices which then makes it confusing when they start having issues could it be nutrition or poor hygiene??
Nutrition? I don't think that would be the main reason people would have difficulties with their teeth. I have heard a lot of people say they have come from other diets and have very little issues with their teeth (that were a lot more deficient in nutrients, me included) but with 811 they started having issues. The teeth and bone are the same yes but we are exposing the teeth to a much different environment then the bones.
I want it so people have the most chance of success possible I find that we need to give advice that works for most people not just some. Then when a person who has teeth issues we can look on the nutrient side but I have a feeling it would a lot less.
So far most of the people I have heard have teeth issues started the diet and ditched what they were doing usually just brush with water. I would like to know if there are people who can say they too great care of their teeth and still have issues?. There will always be outliers due to genetics, previous histories etc, but would like to hear what people have to say so we can get a better idea.
Here is some of an email by Fred on the subject, I am no expert but I agree with what he has to say from my experiences and what I have read and talked to a very good holistic dentist. I know that Fred makes money from his internet site but he also is giving relevant info that people should listen too
I have over 10 years of experience in the raw food movement.
I've written several books on the subject, I've had one of
the very first raw food websites on the Internet, and I've
been in touch with tens of thousands of people following
this diet over the years.
I've met most of the raw-food leaders personally, and I've
even worked with many of them. I've even personally coached
hundreds of people to succeed with a raw food lifestyle.
And after all of these years, I've come to the conclusion
that raw-foodists have the worst dental health of any other
"health group" in the world.
What I have observed is:
* I high incidence of dental decay among raw-foodists, after
they switch to the diet
* A high incidence of gum recession and enamel erosion among
* Sudden, drastic & dramatic dental problems that occur
typically 1 to 3 years after a person has switched to the
raw food diet, and tend to persist overtime.
I have gone through a series of dental problems myself as a
direct result of following the raw-food diet incorrectly
(and I'm not even talking about eating a lot of dates
here), and I have met at least several hundred people who
have gone through similar issues.
I know several leaders of the raw-food movement who have
experience an increasing number of dental problems on the
raw food diet, and still won't come clean about it and
explain to their followers why this happens.
The "weak link" of the raw diet
There's a lot of positive aspects to the raw food diet. But
the issue of dental health is the real weak link. A person
can experience lots of wonderful beneficial effects on the
raw food diet, but notice their dental health go downhill.
In my experience, it's also the number one reason why
people quit on the diet after being successful with it for
It doesn't happen to every raw-foodist. It probably happens
to the large majority however, and there is a direct
correlation between the switch to the raw diet and the
development of dental problems.
The Two Culprits
At this point, if you have the least interest in eating raw
foods, you should start reading very, very closely.
Dental decay is not caused by eating the wrong diet. That's
right. Dental decay is actually a *transmittable disease*.
Dental decay is the result of the proliferation of certain
types of bacteria in the oral environment. The bacteria
eliminate acid waste that eat into your teeth and cause
There are only TWO reasons why raw-foodists experience more
problems when they moved to the diet. But before we look at
them, let's take a look at what is NOT the cause of these
problems. So raw-foodists DON'T have problems with their
- They don't eat enough greens
- They don't get the proper ratio of calcium/phosphorus
- They are not consuming "super nutrition"
- They are not consuming enough calories
- They eat too many acid forming foods like nuts and seeds
All of the reasons above are NOT why raw-foodists get
problems with their teeth. The only two reasons why
raw-foodists get problems with their teeth are:
- Underlying issues (the bacteria count)
Once you understand this simple concept, you'll be able to
eradicate decay for life.
What happens is that when people move into the raw-food
diet, they are basically a time-bomb as far as their dental
health is concerned. Their bacteria count is a little too
high, but not high enough to cause major problems.
Suddenly, they dump a bunch of sugar into their mouths. This
sugar creates a giant feast for the bacteria who feed on
So in that sense, the introduction of a higher quantity of
natural sugar is the determining factor. This sugar can be
in various forms... it doesn't matter for the bacteria who
feed on them! There is no difference between white sugar and
banana sugar when it comes to increasing the bacteria count
in the mouth!
And this sugar is plentiful in the raw food diet. We're
- Fresh fruits (bananas, mangoes, etc.)
- Fruit juices
- Dried fruits
- Nuts and seeds (which stick to the teeth)
- Raw food "bars" and dehydrated treats
- Smoothies (that's right)
- Green smoothies (that's right)
- Coconut water
Now... here's where it gets interesting. Sugar is food for
Normally, you want your bacteria count to be as low as
possible. You want to avoid bacteria forming in to
*colonies* and creating their own little civilization in
If your oral environment is really clean... it doesn't
really matter if you eat dates all day. If the bacteria
count is low, you can do that without problems.
So although the *precipitating* factor that creates problem
for raw-foodists is the introduction of more sugar, the
*real* problem are the underlying issues, so the bacteria
The only way to prevent dental decay for life and reverse a
bad situation is to take active control of your oral
environment. Just controlling your diet does not address the
root of the problem.
I wanted to add he mentions the time bomb on the diet but he forgets to mention that many stop using something to kill bacteria on 811 which I think amplifies the issue, matter of fact i think if most people kept their previous hygiene practices most likely not be having this discussion. Though as Fred mentions we might want to reinforce are hygiene due to the higher sugar content and also if you eat a lot of acidic fruits to rinse with water.
So give your input and log what you do and your success with it? hopefully we will hear the last of these type of discussions at at least a lot less :)
Oh and just out of curiosity does anyone know the reason why most of have sensitive teeth at the beginning of the diet and then it goes away?
P.S I know there is plenty of diets that wreak havoc on the teeth and many people have bad teeth because of it (example), please don't mention this it is obvious. My focus is 80 10 10 to make sure we give recommendations that will make sure that we can smile when we say how well the diet is working :)
Listen to Dr.Nara who believes that is you keep the teeth clean you will not get decay. He has 50 years experience and claims if you follow his recommendations you will not have gum or teeth issues
Interesting article I thought you might like to see, Mikey:
A raw seaweed development (so that the enzymes are still active) that will kill the bacteria on teeth.
Very cool. I wonder if adding seaweed to your brushing if it would have an effect. Worth more investigation
Possibly maybe one of the best substance for a dental rinse could be iodine (lugols: iodine and potassium iodide)
I have been thinking about this since
1)iodine is essential to the body and has only but good affects there is no fear to ingest it (matter of fact many should since iodine deficiency is very common as well it is an awesome detoxifier). The only thing that might need to investigate before trying is if you have amalgam fillings since iodine does detox mercury from the body not sure if it would leach it from the fillings
2) it is a poweful antiseptic, kills bacteria effectively
for more info take a look
Though need to know the concentration for the amount of water also does not seem to mix great with water. Things to investigate.
Personally I think more people should be tested for iodine deficiency (iodine loading test Hakala labs is one of the best). I think why some people fail on 811 is due to lack of iodine going into the diet, since 811 is not high in iodine and certain substances like raw broccoli and spinach, etc) inhibit its uptake could cause problems with already someone deficient. A possible reason why victor van epps might have failed on the diet could have been a possible iodine deficiency since a lot of his symptoms are the same as you would get when you become to low an iodine.
on DEMINERALIZATION and REMINERALIZATION
Since going raw, my external dental health and gum health has been excellent, and my dentist told me that I have one of the healthiest mouths she has seen in months. I floss once a day, and brush twice. I eat a mono meal of oranges almost every day, and about 1+ pounds of greens everyday. If I get lazy about greens, within three days I get toothaches.
Many of our members get toothaches if not eating one or more pounds of greens a day.
I decided to research the science behind it and have learned several things.
Reasons to eat greens include: higher mineral content such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium than most fruits, a calcium phosphorus ratio of 1:1 or better to maintain body homeostasis, greens contain chlorophyll of which magnesium is an important element, lettuce greens contain the element cobalt which is a b12 precursor, prevention and healing of bone and dental issues, and oral health maintenance.
Why Eat Greens?
Hope this helps some people having dental issues. Peace, PK
Thanks for the reply P.K
I totally agree that greens are important, thanks for the link. I think greens play an important role in remineralizing the teeth more then fruit and help alkalize the mouth as well. Probably one of the main reasons that most other primates have less issues with teeth is the amount of greens in their diet. Interesting about teeth hurting if not consuming enough greens, have not experience or heard that before.
Hey P.K can you add
-how long you been 811?
-Do you brush with anything?
-Do you use anything to kill bacteria? (if you don't have the strains of bacteria it is not problematic but if you do then water won't do the job). There is tests to see if you do.
Which greens did you eat? Would eating a 1/3 of a head of small lettuce everyday ok?
Mikey, I've worked in a dental office before. What I've learned is that no matter what the diet is you HAVE to brush (soft toothbrush) your teeth preferably after each meal and more importantly as adults be flossing once everyday preferably before bedtime. And it is before bedtime that is the most important time to brush and floss because what happens is during the course of the day we salivate on a regular basis and it is this salivation that acts as a buffer to control the bacteria that is present in all of our mouths on a regular basis.
So what happens if you do not brush & floss your teeth before going to bed is that your salivation decreases and if there are food particles left in the mouth or sugar, it is easily turned into tartar which then turns to plaque, which turns to calculus and if none of this is removed from brushing, flossing, regular dental visits it starts the gums to recede because the buildup causes a periodontal gum condition. Of course, this does not happen over night. It is very simple...brush and floss. Just because we eat an awesome diet does not give us a free pass to neglect our teeth. I know some people on this forum think that they can get away with it, but it WILL catch up to them. However, the dentist that I used to work for commented that he could always tell the mouth of a vegetarian as opposed to a meat eater because they always came in with a cleaner mouth.
Hope that helps. Brush and floss folks.
Totally agree with the info, I definitely have had less plaque formation on this diet, the dentist was amazed how it reduced without changing dental habits.
Maya could you also add
-how long you been 811?
-Do you brush with anything? or just use water or dry brush.
-Do you use anything to kill bacteria? (if you don't have the strains of bacteria it is not problematic but if you do then water won't do the job). There is tests to see if you do.
Thought It'd be good to share my dental experience, as it sure has been a rollercoaster over the past few years.
To give a bit of history...
As a child I had great teeth. Never a cavity and I ate plenty of high sugar, fatty and processed foods. I attributed it to the fact that I brushed after every meal. I was very diligent and had any plaque removed every 6 months at the dentist. I used Crest toothpaste and the same toothbrush that I still use today. I had a tooth chip at 8 years of age (the one behind my eye tooth on the bottom right hand side) and had a surface filling replaced 3 times by the time I was 18. It was a bad idea. The tooth underneath eroded away leaving a huge gaping hole. In my early teens I had a binge drinking problem and would often go to bed after a night of partying without brushing my teeth - Gross!
Fast forward to starting high fat raw at age 18. Up until then my teeth were fabulous. But after almost a year eating around 70% fat without changing my dental routine, I was at the dentist with 10 receding gums comparable to that of someone 60 years of age. I experienced extreme sensitivity. I couldn't eat anything slightly cold and had to brush my teeth with warm water. At this point I had changed my toothpaste to one more natural. I had no idea that diet was causing the recession so I continued to eat high fat raw for another year (big mistake). My teeth are very big and my molars are deep. I was told as a child that I'd eventually have to get all of them filled because they are too deep to fully reach with a toothbrush. The hole in the tooth behind my eye tooth had turned black at this point. The dentist didn't give me any advice other than to have it filled - No thanks.
When I came to high fruit living my teeth were not in good shape. I basically changed my diet over night and within the first week noticed the most phenomenal result with my teeth. Two of my receding gums healed half way. It was amazing!
So now to answer your questions...
-How long you have been on the diet?
I've been eating low fat, high fruit raw vegan for 2 years and 5 months.
-Have your teeth improved, remain the same or gotten worse?
This is really a loaded question...To continue on with my story...
Within the first 1.5 years on this lifestyle 9 of my receded gums healed completely. I wish I had taken before pictures because I was told it was impossible. All of my sensitivity completely disappeared. The gaping hole in my tooth has remained exactly the same size and still remains black. But before it was so sensitive, now I don't feel it at all. The gum is still receded. At 4 months in I started using only water to brush. My teeth felt great and actually whitened more without the use of toothpaste.
Here's the negative part. I was lax at the best of times when brushing. I didn't start flossing until I first read this thread 2 weeks ago. I've always been lazy with my teeth, and took for granted their great state as a child. I figured that since they had always been great they always would be. Because I didn't floss and no longer visit the dentist there was plaque buildup on my bottom farthest back teeth (2 of them), one of which is a wisdom tooth. The plaque has eaten away at the bottom of these two teeth, leaving black spots along the gum line. This is purely because I never took the time to properly reach the spots with my toothbrush.
Since becoming lfrv I've healed 9 receding gums, and 3 more have receded in my mouth. The tooth behind the one with the big black hole has receded due to plaque build up caused by my laziness.
As well, my two front eye teeth had plaque buildup which I ignored, causing recession on both of these gums. They are very extremely angled teeth, like protruding fangs, and plaque can easily build up in spots.
-What is your dental hygiene protocol, Has it changed? what are your results?
Since first reading this thread I have been very diligent with brushing, flossing, and rinsing. I'm serious about correcting my current self induced dental problems. I wish I had been more diligent in the past. Before I was brushing once in the morning and once before bed. I've seen where that's gotten me. Now I brush lightly with water after every meal and rinse with water after eating. I also floss once nightly and rinse my mouth out with baking soda and water to neutralize the bacteria. I have a dental mirror and I'm watching everything closely.
All in all, my teeth on this lifestyle have been amazing. If I hadn't been so lax, I know that I wouldn't have any receding gums at this point, but even so my top eye teeth are slowly healing. It'll be interesting to watch my tooth that was originally chipped. It's been the same now (no sensitivity but still with a black spot) for almost 2.5 years. I have no idea if a tooth that far gone can heal...We'll see!
I'm sure committed to taking much better care of my teeth now though!
Thanks Tarah for you thorough reply and answering all the questions.
I too experienced good results when coming into the diet like barely no plaque build up and my gums stopped bleeding after a week. I did not have a very good dental program before and during the diet. Though I did add rinsing after every meal which I think is good but i also started brushing with water which has not done much in helping things as I went further into the diet and my teeth started taking a turn for the worst.
By adding in something to kill the bacteria the last 2 weeks my gum and dental health are showing positive results. My teeth are whiter, gums are pinker and areas that were receded are coming back. I am hoping certain cracks around certain teeth (around the gum line will fill in).
It sounds like your on the right track
1-Listen to Dr.Nara's audio.
2-is get an oral irrigator they do a great job dislodging food between the teeth. If you don't floss if you use an irrigator you probably be okay. though I think floss to remove the bigger chunks then irrigate.
Just need to irrigate once at night also you can add in solution to kill bacteria and can directly put into the pockets that are infected (the vista jet is great because you can get deep pockets tips). I actually had one for a week but it was defective, so I was without one for 2 days and felt the difference. Now I see it as a must have, especially with the current condition of my gums.
3- Probably your last brush would be more effective if it was a dry brush (without water) and do it for 3-5minutes.
4-Maybe adding a tooth paste like Nara's or Ecodent
Possibly Restore or Tooth builder might help you, can find them at oramedia.com (though they don't seem to ship to Canada)