Are you on a good diet? The best way to find out may be through your teeth (if you have been on the same diet for several years). Already the dentist Weston Price knew this - he traveled all around the world in the 30's to look at primitive peoples teeth, and thereby health. Like this:
Below are some quotes abour teeth and diet selected by Dr. Stanley S. Bass.
About Tooth Decay & Diet|
DENTAL HEALTH & CIVILIZATION
In the summer of 1933, [we made] contact with large bands of Indians who had come out of the Pelly mountain country to exchange their catch of furs at the last outpost of the Hudson Bay Company... they have remained as nomadic wandering tribes following the moose and caribou herds in the necessary search to obtain their foods.
The rigorous winters reach seventy degrees below zero. This precludes the possibility of maintaining dairy animals or growing seed cereals or fruits. The diet of these Indians is almost entirely limited to the wild animals of the chase. This made a study of them exceedingly important. The wisdom of these people regarding Nature's laws, and their skill in adapting themselves to the rigorous climate and very limited variety of foods, and these often very hard to obtain, have developed a skill in the art of living comfortably with rugged Nature that has been approached by few other tribes in the world. The sense of honor among these tribes is so strong that practically all cabins, temporarily unoccupied due to the absence of the Indians on their hunting trip, were entirely unprotected by locks; and the valuables belonging to the Indians were left in plain sight...
The condition of the teeth, and the shape of the dental arches and the facial form, were superb. Indeed, in several groups examined not a single tooth was found that had ever been attacked by tooth decay ... Careful inquiry regarding the presence of arthritis was made in the more isolated groups. We neither saw nor heard of a case in the isolated groups. However, at the point of contact with the foods of modern civilization many cases were found including ten bedridden cripples in a series of about twenty Indian homes. Some other affections made their appearance here, particularly tuberculosis which was taking a very severe toll of the children who had been born at this center... The suffering from tooth decay was tragic. There were no dentists, no doctors available within hundreds of miles to relieve suffering.
The physiques of the Indians of the far north who are still living in their isolate locations and in accordance with their accumulated wisdom were superb. There were practically no irregular teeth, including no impacted third molars, as evidenced by the fact that all individuals old enough to have the molars erupted had them standing in position and functioning normally for mastication.
Where the Indians were using the white man's food tooth decay was very severe. . . In the new generation, after meeting the white civilization and using his foods, many developed crooked teeth, so-called, with deformed dental arches. . .
Weston Price, DDS: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
AGRICULTURE & BAD TEETH
The Director of the National Museum in Iceland says that it is definitely established that during 600 years, 1200 to 1800 in Iceland, there were no dental cavities. The foods they ate were milk and milk products, mutton, beef and fish. They ate no carbohydrate. The only exception to this was a little moss soup in the summer, but this was a rare "fun food" of little nutritional importance. Two Indian tribes reveal the same thing.
The prehistoric Indians of California were vegetarians, unlike most folks of that period, and they had tooth decay. In contrast, the Sioux Indians lived on buffalo meat and were devoid of cavities. The Pueblos worshipped the Corn God, but he was not grateful. They have the most wretched teeth of all the American Indian tribes. They lived on corn, squash and beans. The Laplanders, who ate mostly reindeer meat during the 18th century, rarely had cavities. Modern laps have a decay rate of 85% of their teeth.
William Campbell Douglass, MD: The Milk of Human Kindness
The Masai are tall and strong... For their food throughout the centuries they have depended very largely on milk, meat and blood, reinforced with vegetables and fruits. In the Masai tribe, a study of 2,516 teeth in eighty-eight individuals distributed through several widely separated manyatas showed only four individuals with caries. These had a total of ten carious teeth, or only 0.4 per cent of the teeth attacked by tooth decay. In contrast with the Masai, the Kikuyu tribe are characterized by being primarily an agricultural people. Their chief articles of diet are sweet potatoes, corn, beans, and some bananas, millet, and Kafir corn, a variety of Indian millet. The women use special diets during gestation and lactation. The Kikuyus are not as tall as the Masai and physically they are much less rugged... A study of 1,041 teeth in thirty-three individuals showed fifty-seven teeth with caries or 5.5 per cent. There were 36.4 per cent of the individuals affected.
Weston Price DDS: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
SUGAR & TEETH & BODY CHEMISTRY
Last, but not least, sugar consumption is the cause of bone loss and dental decay. Tooth decay and bone loss occur when the precise ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the blood varies from the normal ratio of 4 parts phosphorus to 10 parts calcium. At this proportion, all blood calcium can be properly utilized. Dr. Melvin Page of Florida demonstrated in numerous studies that sugar consumption causes phosphorus levels to drop and calcium to rise. Calcium rises because it is pulled from the teeth and the bones. The drop in phosphorus hinders the absorption of this calcium, making it unusable and therefore toxic.
Thus, sugar consumption causes tooth decay not because it promotes bacterial growth in the mouth, as most dentists believe, but because it alters the internal body chemistry.
Orthodox nutritionists admit that sugar causes tooth decay, although they may be mistaken about just why this is so, but their warnings to avoid tooth decay by limiting sweets are disingenuous. Most people would be willing to pay the price for bad teeth as long as they did not have to stop eating sugar. After all, teeth can be repaired or replaced. But poor teeth are always the outward sign of other types of degeneration in the body, degeneration that cannot be repaired by mechanical means.
Sally Fallon: Nourishing Traditions
INHS email group:
Today I went to the dentist, after 3 years of postponing it - and the verdict was "no holes"!! Absolutely unbelievable - last time in 2000 I had a bill of $5000 (pre-insurance) due to many severe holes - and the time before that in 1997 I had a bill of a couple of 1000's as well. (Yes I know I should go every year, but I just have this barrier - and I didn't expect that many holes - earlier I usually only had one or two.) The only difference is that I was an almost-vegan for a decade plus ending in 2000, and since then have been a paleo-hygienist. I have always been good at brushing and flossing so that hasn't changed. Perhaps I am now reaping the rewards of all those eggs I have been eating (and craving) since 2000, (for a while I was up to 8 a day) and the other animal foods I have been eating. It can't be just a fluke (why didn't I have at least a small hole?), there must be a reason. In that case - thnx Dr. Bass for convincing me this was the way to go!! I hope healthy teeth means better health in general - isn't that what the dentist Weston-Price meant .... A. 3-04
MINERAL DEFICIENCIES & TEETH
> I realized another thing that I added to my diet in the last 2 years. Sea vegetables! I eat nori, and dulse a lot now. I make nori rolls 2 times a week and I often throw dulse in my salads. I still drink reverse osmosis water though. I believe adding the dulse and nori along with more greens like kale, chard and spinach is why I no longer get cavities! Another thing I've noticed is that since I've added these things my hair and nails are much stronger. My teeth even feel stronger too. ... I must have been missing minerals. I. 3-04
Really interesting - goes hand in hand with what Steve said about mineral-rich soils and improved teeth:
> In 1984 I visited Fiji and stayed six months. There is a remarkably fertile and small region on the main island there, the Sigatoka River Valley, where the soils are alluvial and refreshed every few years with freshly-ground rock flour, happens when the Sigatoka River floods in a cyclone. .... When I ate the food from the Sigatoka Valley over half a year my teeth got tighter in my jaw; Isabelle's fingernails hardened, our whole sense of well-being improved. S. 3-04
Read more about teeth and fruit: Fruit - friend or foe?