Malnutrition: The Unreported Reason Why Children’s Cavities Are On The Rise
Children’s cavities are on the rise, and children today who have cavities are requiring more expensive and extensive dental surgery to hide the problems of dental decay.
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported there was an increase five years ago in the number of preschool children with cavities, for the first time in 40 years.“
A similar report in the New York Times stated that, “…dentists nationwide say they are seeing more preschoolers at all income levels with 6 to 10 cavities or more.”
Before I critique this perspective, I want to say that I am not opposed to parents having their children see dentists. What I am opposed to is the misleading information that seems well meaning but is in fact inaccurate.
Dentists like Dr. Shenkin, the spokesman for the American Dental Association, say that “tooth decay is largely preventable, but most parents he sees were unaware they needed to make sure their children brush their teeth and did not know they need to take children to the dentist at an early age” (ref). As Dr. Shenkin states, tooth decay is a preventable disease, but tooth brushing will not go that far in preventing it because it does not address the root cause of cavities. Bringing your child to the dentist will not address the cause of tooth decay either, and so, as the referenced New York Times article states, “Multiple studies have shown that even children who undergo general anesthesia to treat dental decay end up with cavities again.” The fact that even expensive and invasive surgery does not stop cavities in children seems of little concern to the field of dentistry, at least in the U.S. and Canada where full anesthesia surgery on young children with tooth decay is far too common.
The purpose of the ADA press release about the rise in cavity rates is to encourage parents to bring their young children to dentists, because this fulfills the ADA mission to foster “the success of a diverse membership.”
Tooth decay is not usually stopped by tooth brushing because it is the strength of the tooth that matters much more than its cleanliness. The often cited dentist W.D. Miller who invented the acid / bacterial paradigm of dentistry over one hundred years ago himself said essentially that a perfect tooth resists acid and bacteria indefinitely. Famous professors and researchers Edward and May Mellanby lectured at universities across the U.S. and England and told the American Medical Association that tooth decay “is dependent more on the poor quality of the tooth substance than it is on the action of bacteria and decomposing food.” I’ll just give you one more of numerous examples. Dental Professor Balint Orban from Northwestern University said in 1938 that, “There is an intimate relation between caries and structural deficiency of teeth.” Caries is the scientific term for tooth decay. I wonder what has changed so dramatically in the last 70 years where diet and nutrition are no longer at the forefront of discussion within the dental industry, when even conventional dentists acknowledge that what people eat is important for their teeth.
Without belaboring the point, the reason why more children have cavities is because their tooth enamel is not as dense or as strong as it should be. When strong tooth enamel is exposed to stresses, food or acid, it stays strong. But weak tooth enamel decays easily, and thus we see children who have many teeth affected by cavities. The matrix of the child is a factor both of preconception health, the environment during pregnancy, and the diet of the child after birth.
The USDA nutrient survey reports that on average, women over the age of 20 have an intake of 66% of their daily minimum calcium requirement. So before entering pregnancy many women lack calcium which we know makes up the matrix from which teeth and bones are built. Further exasperating the problem is the lack of fat-soluble vitamin D. The average U.S. female consumed between 144 — 276 IU of vitamin D per day, when the recommended daily intake for vitamin D is 600 IU per day. Vitamin D is an activating substance for the deposition and utilization of the minerals calcium and phosphorous. Without enough vitamin D, children’s tooth buds do not form as densely in the womb. When the vitamin D and calcium deficient teeth erupt, and the baby starts teething, the teeth will usually be susceptible to extensive tooth decay.
Young children who do not have tooth cavities are immune because of the good pregnancy diet of the mother, and a good diet after birth. They are not immune to tooth decay because they are brushing and flossing frequently. Nature didn’t design children to have to have objects stuck in their mouth that they hate in order to prevent them from having cavities. And most parents probably do not do an adequate job of cleaning their young children’s teeth because of the difficulty it causes. But only a few parents have their children suffering from cavities. Why?
The hidden gem that dentistry has long forgotten is that tooth decay is preventable not by brushing, but by a good diet, beginning before the time of conception and continued in pregnancy and childhood. And if tooth decay was prevented with nutrition, then where would that leave the field of dentistry? A field that profits from performing dental surgery on children even when it has little evidence of successful long term outcomes.
Dentists of the past like Weston Price, Royal Lee, Melvin Page and many more knew that tooth decay was prevented in children with good nutrition. What dentists see when the young child sits in the dental chair with a mouth full of half decayed teeth, is a child whose body is starving for nutrients. The procedures of dentistry, drilling, filling and the inevitable insurance billing hide the rapid deterioration of the child’s teeth, but do nothing to curb or address the cause of cavities.
At best, visiting a dentist helps parents be grounded with the state of their children’s dental health. But when a child arrives with a cavity, the dentist does not inform the parents that their child is suffering from malnutrition. Instead he blames the parents for the problem, and makes a handy profit in the process.
The average child patient undergoing anesthesia surgery for tooth decay is 4 years old. They have extensive cavities because their bodies are growing rapidly. The message of this article is simple. When you hear tooth decay, think diet.
Do not think of tiny invisible creatures that live off carbohydrates in your mouth, or your child’s mouth. Think of the food that you eat and that your children eat. Many parents have successfully halted and even reversed their child’s tooth cavities by focusing on diet and nutrition that includes minerals from raw grassfed milk like calcium and phosphorus and fat-soluble vitamin D from fermented cod liver oil as described in the cavity healing program outlined in the book, Cure Tooth Decay.
Ramiel Nagel is an internationally published author whose tooth decay research has been featured in Nexus Magazine and the Townsend Letter For Doctors and Patients. Nagel is also author of, “Healing Our Children: Because Your New Baby Matters! Sacred Wisdom for Preconception, Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting,” which shatters the current illusions about what is healthy for our children so we can truly have healthy baby’s. Visit www.curetoothdecay.com for more information.
This article originally appeared at PreventDisease.com, an excellent site for information on health and wellness.
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