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
I agree. I've used a baking soda rinse to kill the bacteria and I've already noticed a difference after one week.
I'll definitely listen to the audio (can't listen to audio or video with my current internet, but will be able to when I return home to Canada in a month).
The oral irrigator you're referring to, does it hook up to the shower? I travel more often than not and I keep my personal possessions to an absolute minimum. I'm flossing every day now and it's great for travel because it's so small and compact. As well I'll check out the restore and tooth builder. I won't use anything with glycerin though.
Otherwise I noticed great improvements when I switched from toothpaste to water!
-There are some irrigators can be attached to the shower, though then you can not add stuff like baking powder or sea salt to help kill the bacteria. Most irrigators are a small eletrical device with its own resevoir like the waterpik, etc. There might be a model convinient enough for you. There especially good for people who have trouble flossing or have gum issues which is estimated that 85% of the population does.
- Dr.Nara http://mizar5.com/products.htm and ecodent are actually powders, they don`t contain glycerin and are quite simple. Ecodent also has calcium and phosphate to help rebuild the teeth (I have some and it definately cleanses the mouth well).
-The switch from toothpastes which can be harmfull to just water can work for some or work in the short term but because there is a lack of something to keep bacteria under control with time it usuaully causes people teeth issues due the bacteria running out of control. Most people who add something like salt water rinses, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide etc see a quick improvement in their dental health. DR Nara had 3 children now in their 40`s none had any cavities and it is not due to thier diet.
-Most of the info you can find on Oramedia.com but listen to the audio when you can :)
Reply by Ines Caldas on
I am dentist and i think there are a couple of things you shoul know:
First, you must floss! Your teeth crumble because they have cavities in the contact points with other teeth; that are isn't cleaned whem yo brush, and the tongue, cheeks movement and saliva have a poor action in those areas - so you must floss! Once a day, minimum!
Because cavities are formed due to acidic production from bacteria in the mouth - these bacteria run on carbs! So you must get carbs out of your teeth!
Secondly a raw vegan diet produces more acid - people in these diet have more dental erosion! And that is ok! that can be avoided also! The number one care is to avoide brushing your teeth imediately after eating your delicious fruit (especially the acidic) - wait five minutes and you are ready to go! Anything else or anything that isn't clear, please don't hesitate to ask!
Hope you feel better soon!
Secondly a raw vegan diet produces more acid - people in these diet have more dental erosion!
- oh *facepalm* Seriously...are people not seeing the dentists everywhere? Everyone I know on a typical diet has teeth problems. A fruit lifestyle creates more acid than a meat and dairy diet? I'm sorry but what a load of .....! XD It's our natural diet, nature wouldn't design our ideal diet to rot our teeth, period. And the dentist probably doesn't even know what a high carb raw vegan diet consists of.
I have a very interesting quotation from Dr. Graham in an interview!! I think it makes a lot of sense!
"Kevin Great. I wanted to talk to you about tooth care because a lot of people who get into the raw food diet have specific teeth issues that may arise. What are some of the challenges that people face? What are some of the things that you've done to kind of help reverse some of that?
Dr. Graham: Tooth care, it's an interesting thing. Long ago people asked me to write about diseases. I said, "You know, I don't really write about diseases because diseases are all pretty much the same. If you stop participating in the cause, the body won't generate the symptoms." Every individual disease, there's thousands and thousands of human health conditions. I think it comes up the same with teeth. Oral hygiene and oral health is once again just one tiny aspect. It would be a shame if we were out there in the world telling people, "Look, we've got this diet. It's the best diet in the world for everybody but it's really terrible for your teeth." Well that wouldn't work. It turns out that the diet that we espouse is really wonderful for our teeth.
And obviously, but it still has to be said, because anybody that's ever been to a dentist's office has noticed that the dentist offices around the world are filled with people eating cooked food. So we can't just look at raw food and say, "Raw food is really bad for your teeth because look what happens," because we're seeing the same thing happen on cooked food. At the same time we're also seeing two other issues going on with our teeth that have to be at least allowed for. One is the fact, as disclosed in Pottinger's Cat's, that with every generation of cats eating a diet that was not species specific there was degeneration, both physical and physiological. In other words in the form and function and the design of the cat we saw decay.
We notice in human anatomy that changes have happened. One of the big ones that happens with malnutrition over generations is a loss of what is called the broadness, a narrowing of the dental arch. So for instance, if I smile at you, you might see 8 or 10 teeth whereas someone with a broader dental arch would smile at you and you would see 12 teeth or 14 teeth. The broader the front of that arch is, the wider the horseshoe, effectively, that the teeth make, the more room there is for teeth. So we're seeing an increase with each generation. We're seeing an increase in the number of children who need orthodontic work because there simply isn't enough room for the number of teeth that are coming in, so they start crossing over each other instead of sitting alongside of each other.
We have inherited not only this problem but several others, with the health of our teeth, before we ever went raw. Then we have these issues with going raw. One of them is that a lot of people go raw and have a really hard time staying raw, so they're switching back and forth between cooked and raw, which doesn't do our teeth a lot of good, especially the kinds of foods that tend to get cooked, because as you become aware on some level, cooked food is really sticky. It sticks to our teeth like crazy. If we're going to eat food that sticks to our teeth and a bunch of sweet foods as well, we're going to have problems. In fact, anything that sticks to your teeth is a problem. All cooked food is sticky, all dehydrated food is sticky to some degree, stickier than its fresh counterpart. Nuts and seeds are sticky, they've been dehydrated.
The other problem that comes in is almost invariably some aspect of nature attack us when we go raw. We become 'nature boys' and 'nature girls' to a greater degree than we ever were before. A lot of people have come to me and said, "I went raw four years ago. I stopped using shampoo. I stopped using
deodorant. I stopped using a toothpaste. No animal brushes their teeth. I stopped brushing my teeth." The number of people who've told me that is just astonishing. And I'm going, "Yeah, you know, you didn't really earn that right the first day you went raw to expect that your body could function as if you had been raw your entire life and your parents had been raw their entire life and it had gone back for generations." I'm not really sure that no teeth care is the plan.
In fact, it's not the plan that I recommend. I recommend a tooth care plan. I recommend that you do clean your teeth after you eat and that you do not only a careful brushing under the gum line, or right at the gum line - this is where our teeth are most vulnerable - but that you also get out the particulate matter that's in between your teeth. Whether you're doing that with a bristly kind of round brush or whether you're doing that with floss or whether you're doing that with pick or a brush pick, there's a wide variety of ways to do it.
We eat raw food and our teeth feel so clean but in fact there's still stuff, there's still material. And organic material stuck between your teeth is going to be broken down by bacteria. The bacteria will produce acid that will harm your teeth. In almost every case, I would say in every case of dental issues that I've seen with raw fooders, it's a matter of them having decay at the gum line. It's always at the gum line. It's not the enamel portion that they're having such problems with, it's at the gum line where there isn't enamel. And this is because on a standard cooked food diet we actually cause a loss of gums but also an inflammation of the gums. When the gums are inflamed, even though we've lost some gum matter, the inflammation makes them bigger and it covers up that area of tooth that has no enamel. When the source of the irritation goes away, we start eating raw foods that are not irritating to the gums instead of the cooked foods that have irritants built right into them, the food additives all function as irritants to the gums and so they become inflamed.
When we go to raw foods and we get rid of that irritation, the inflammation also goes down at which point we start to expose the teeth at the gum line, areas of teeth that don't have enamel, and without cleaning them on a regular basis you're definitely going to have tartar build up. What happens is kind of like a pearl in an oyster; the pearl functions as an irritant. If you get a little tiny bit of tartar under the gum line. If you get a little piece of food under the gum line it's like picking up the blankets on the bed, it pulls the gum off of the teeth and then anything else can get in under there. At every meal stuff starts getting under there and the gums just get worse and worse, they recede quickly.
The gums are supposed to be dull in color, they should not be shiny. They're supposed to be sort of stippled looking. They should not be puffy looking in any way, shape or form. If your gums are puffy or shiny, if the color isn't that of healthy gums, you need to take care of them. This idea that we can live without washing is just not founded. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, as the old saying goes. Certainly cleanliness is a huge part of health and hygiene for human beings. We have to take care of ourselves."
Interesting from Doug thanks
Does anybody know anything about sunning the teeth, we know the that sun kills bacteria with infra red and is able to penetrate the kin by 1/2 inch. So you think it would have the potential to kill bacteria. Does anybody have any info?
Thanks Rebecca for sharing your experience.
-As always I say the devil is in the details and it can be very hard to pinpoint why things are happening sometimes. It can happen that when coming into the diet that the body is not in the right condition to be able to create everything from the foods and the body sometimes need time to adapt and change (possibly might not be able to), so we might need to rely on other sources. for example K2 is converted from K but some people might not be able to convert it due to various reasons.
-Were you supplementing b12 ?
-I don't think all people blame animal products for all diseases especially if the diet is very limited in it. But to much animal products definitely has a negative impact on the body, especially with time.
-Just because some people consume animal products that are in Dr.Graham book proves nothing there is many more that don't and are doing great for a long period of time, again it is possible some might need some for whoever knows the reason. At the beginning of the diet I had bad reactions to tomatoes and peppers after a year later I can consume them as much as I want with no repercussions (most likely I healed leaky gut) many have these types of changes. Some don't produce b12 and then start when doing a fast or just time with a clean diet but some can't (leading a lifestyle for so long changes the body and it does not mean it can quickly change sometimes.
-We can't say that the 1% is crucial and though I agree looking to our other primate friends and what they do is a smart thing, we can not know exactly if they are doing it because they need to eat it because they are hungry or they know they need for health. Primates are opportunistic and will do what they need to, to survive just as we did. Interesting study of 2 groups of Bonobos one ate a lot more greens VS fruit while the other group ate a lot more fruit then greens, the big factor was there location where the fruit was abundant they ate more fruit. If primates always had their favorite foods readily available not sure if they would have other things in their diet.
-Good luck on your Journey and do what you need to as you have done, failing at a diet due to being religious about it does nobody any good. Maybe in the future you will know the reasons why and won't need the animal products possibly there is a 1% I am not sure at this point. I do know some do great for long periods without them and some seem to do better when adding some as you said just a little but there can be factors to why not supplementing b12 and then eating some animal products and your body can convert it of course you will feel better same for K2. Some people eat very little and the extra fat and protein will possibly help them again it is all in the details. It would be awesome if there is no need and everybody can attain that but I would rather people add a little if it helps them then go primal and bash the diet because of a couple of details they overlooked/
-You should be tested for D you are most likely very low, we do not store D usually fro more then a couple of months. I would also test for iodine which is essential for teeth health and overall health especially for the development of your children. another possibility is low in iodine and some of animal products contain more.
-You should look at Dr.Naras work as well he has recovered people from teeth issues no matter what the diet. From what I have seen so far most people who have teeth issues (many don't) on this diet is due to lack of hygiene many ditch it or get lax about it. Many who have improved their hygiene had dramatic turn around. Their can be some that is due to deficiency that they could have come into the diet with low levels or the lack of the capability to produce them and that outside sources are the key as it seems to be your case for whatever the reason.
-Listening to your body is good but can be difficult at times are body is always doing its best managing small fires with us not always us knowing (most of the time we don't know) until it becomes a blaze. I know people who ate gluten all their life with not knowing its affect and now are hospitalized the moment they eat some because the body can no longer cope.
My teeth got much better, since I rinse my mouth with xylit after every meal. (additional to brushing and flossing once a day.)
Dont know if there is anything bad about it, but since now (I use it for about 3 month) the stuff simes like a wunder to me.
Do you mean Xylitol? The spry moutwash or your own mixture. I heard that Xylitol helps because the bacteria will eat it but since it is just an empty filler they, they eat there fill and die.
Yes, sorry in english its called xylitol in german both names are possible.
I just buy the pure crystals ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylitol ) with some water.
Yes, what I read the bacterias starve. My Plaque nearly disappeared and the good bacterias survive...
I will add this in and try it thanks Oliver. Let you know how it goes :) really appreciate your input. I have seem to stop the decay but I am definitely battling bacteria that has colonized in the gums, its time to not only use things that kill them but stuff to fill them up on that will starve them might help out.