I'll try to keep this short - I've never had a cavity or any issues with my teeth. I started a fruit heavy, raw til 4 diet in july 2013. In january 2014 I started having some sensitivity and pain along the gum line of one of my teeth (the one just to the left of my top left "canine tooth"). It is sensitive to temperature and touch - I can only drink liquids at lukewarm/room temp and I have to be EXTREMELY careful when brushing and flossing or it will send pain shooting up my face.
So in february i went to the dentist and he said the sensitivity could be caused by eating a lot of acidic foods, such as some fruits. He told me to wait and see if it would go away over time.
Fast forward to now, the same tooth is still super sensitive, and the past couple weeks it's started aching, like I can feel it all the time instead of just when I accidentally brush over it, or whatever.
It seems like its just getting worse and I'm really concerned. I brush daily, very gentle, before bed with toms of maine toothpaste, and in the morning I sometimes do a quick once-over with just water. I floss almost every day, sometimes I miss a day. I rinse my mouth with water and swish it around my teeth every time after I eat.
It looks like the gumline around this tooth is kind of inflamed/swollen, and it scares me that this will happen to all my teeth eventually, because my gums are starting to get that same inflamed look on the other side of mymouth too.
Any advice/tips/guesses what's causing it? How often do you brush, what products do you use? Have you experienced any issues since switching to raw til 4?
Obviously, I should go to a dentist soon, but I don't have dental insurance right now.
I'm sure this will be the common question but do you eat your daily greens?
Ah I should have mentioned it! I don't eat greens every single day, more like 3-5 times per week, but I eat a lot, about a pound of lettuce/spinach at a time.
I concur with AndiR,
Most of our members have to eat 1/2-2 cups of lettuce greens a day. (Not kale, chard, or spinach cause of high oxalate content.)
Make sure fruits are ripe
Some people also need to watch calcium to phosphorous ratios. Overall dietary intake, calcium should be equal to or higher than phophorous and you can track this on a site like cronometer.com.
Make sure getting enough calories.
Make sure fat content is around 10% a day to help with regulation of fat soluble nutrients like vitamin D. No Vit-D, teeth and bones crumble. Get 30 minutes or more of sunshine a day too.
RT4 is supposed to be a transition tool or backup plan, not the plan long term. It may be time for you to migrate to 100% raw diet.
Long Term Health and Success
Eat a raw frugivorous diet where most carbohydrates and calories come from whole, raw, ripe, sweet, and juicy fruits like oranges, papaya, or mangoes, supplemented with about ½-2 heads of lettuce greens a day (like iceberg and romaine) and about a handful of raw nuts or seeds a day. Eat simple meals (like mono meals, or only use a few ingredients) but a rainbow of foods over a period of time.
Eat enough on a daily basis with at least 2500 calories for females and at least 3000 calories for males. Drink 2-4 quarts of water a day and pee clear. Get 8-12 hours of sleep as needed. Exercise about 30 minutes a day 5-6 days a week with at least one day off for rest and repairs. Get about 30 minutes of sunshine a day on your skin for vitamin D, mental health, eye health, and healthy bones and teeth.
For more science behind how a raw foods diet optimally for long term success:
Thanks for the quick reply!
My problem with eating all raw is that I don't really have enough time in my day to eat the amounts necessary to reach 2500calories. I know smoothies are a good way to get lots of cals but I feel weird about drinking lots of smoothies because I feel like drinking that much liquid sugar probably won't be good for my teeth, since they are already messed up (my guess is receding gum line/exposed nerve, or weak/eroded enamel).
I live in the pacific northwest, so no sun for me for like half the year. Can you recommend a good vegan vitamin d supplement? I get overwhelmed tryingto find them online, there's so many different types and d2/d3, etc. :/
How much calcium should I aim for? I typically get 400-500mg per day.
Outside of occasional treats, I dont recommend smoothies and juicing. Too many possible side effects.
WHO, World health organization recommends that on a vegetarian diet free of animal products, 500 mg a day is enough. It is usually quite easy on this diet. You can plug your water intake into a site like cronometer.com and that has calcium. Eat 1/2-2 heads of lettuce greens not only for health of teeth, but to get calcium in too along with a handful of nuts or seeds.
2500 calories Plus
Getting less than that a day sets us up for nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition long term along with dental and oral issues and loss of teeth.
In USA, large calorie and nutrient dense fruits are available. A large banana might be 120 calories, a large orange 80 calories.
A breakfast of 10 oranges could be 800 calories and nutrient dense with plenty of calcium. You dont have to slice, dice, grind, or cook anything. Eat straight from peel, and feel free to dig in eating 1/4 or more of orange at time to save time.
Lunch could be 5-10 bananas for another easy 1000 calories.
A snack of 1-2 nuts or seeds around 4pm for 200-300 calories and the fat will help with fat soluble nutrient regulation like vitamin D.
Thats 2100 calories.
Start dinner with a salad of about 100 calories or more (I love tomatoes on mine)
Finish off with luscious mangoes or papapayas or more bananas.
Easily get 2500-3000 cals no problem.
I dont really recommend supplements unless you have an emergency deficiency. If a doctor has found you deficient, then take prescription Vit-D. Then you know it is pure.
Even on cloudy days, get outside because you will get some of the suns rays on your skin even with cloud cover. Natural light and fresh air are good for mental health, tissues, and eye health.
In winter, you can get a vitamin D lamp or large reptile lamp which could be placed at a desk or next to a sofa and used while watching tv. Just dont fall asleep cause you could burn like I did once lol.
I recommend before all else to get started on the lettuce greens. It might take about three days to start feeling better in the mouth, but hopefully you will, and then you only need to address and pay for the real issues.
Hope this helps. Peace, PK
Are you using fluoride free toothpaste?
Yes, but I'm fairly sure my tap water has flouride added.
Don't use tapwater to brush!
For more reasons than just flouride. :X
Ive heard that going vegan will reverse tooth decay. Because of the low acidity of not eating meat and dairy!
Thats all ive heard.
I hope this is true! but it hasn't been my experience. :/ I think the dentist meant acidic things like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and juice and etc.
If you haven't been to a dentist in awhile and it has been an extended time between professional hygiene care visits (getting your teeth cleaned) you may be seeing and feeling signs of a periodontal infection, possibly abscess. I am in clinical dentistry, and these are some of the symptoms, however, it can be other things too, such as dentinal hypersensitivity. Is the root exposed on that tooth (do you have recession)? Does the pain linger or go away quickly? Did they take any root tip (periapical) xrays or measure for pocketing with a periodontal probe?
I don't brush. Well, maybe once a month.
Instead I use greens from my yard and garden (parsley mostly).
Grab some, chew some up, and use my finger to wipe my teeth down.
Using the chewed up ball of greens like a.. cleaning sponge, or something.
So clean every time, they squeak.
I haven't regularly brushed in over 9 months. No sensitivity, no cavities.
No pearly-whites, either, but certainly not yellow.
Ripe organic fruit. and I try to chew greens after every meal of rice or potatoes.
For some reason, rice and potatoes really take a toll on my teeth, much more so than fruit.
Anyone else? (also using parsley mostly when I chew after meals).
Just be sure to spit it out, parsley doesn't seem to mix well after many meals.
I highly recommend this approach over brushing. I still floss a couple times a week.
I buy organic celery specifically for this cause. The fibers make great floss.
Either pull them out, or bite the celery in a way that the fibers go between my teeth.
This works amazingly. At least try this stuff out, don't pass on it! : )