How to Heal Cavities the Natural Way

Are you looking for a natural way to heal cavities to avoid another filling? Learn the most important thing you can do for the health of your teeth and gums.

How to Heal Cavities the Natural Way

Photo from Flickr by Martin Cathrae.

Sugar has been widely accepted as the culprit when it comes to tooth decay and other dental health issues like gum disease. According to the American Dental Association, the reason we have tooth decay is that:

"[Tooth decay] occurs when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) such as milk, pop, raisins, cakes or candy are frequently left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay."

According to Natural News, however, there are groups of indigenous people who have fermentable carbohydrates stuck on their teeth all the time but are mostly or completely free of tooth decay despite not taking care of their teeth with proper dental care through brushing or flossing.

So, how is it that these indigenous groups can get away with it and others can't?

One of the indicators that the ADA's theory about the cause of tooth decay is incorrect is that bacteria do not consume foods that lack nutritional value, such as processed sugar; the bad bacteria thrives on nutrient-rich foods like milk, vegetables, and meats. A second indicator is that foods that bacteria love such as vegetables, meat, and fish are not commonly implicated in causes of tooth decay.

Based on the insights of Dr. Edward Mellanby, Dr. Weston Price, and Dr. Ramiel Nagel, there are four main things that contribute to tooth decay:

  • Lack of minerals in the diet (calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus)

  • Lack of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) in the diet

  • Too much consumption of phytic acid-rich foods

  • Too much consumption of processed sugar

Other factors include nutrients not being readily bioavailable, and the intestinal system not properly absorbing them. The presence of phytic acid largely influences this factor.

According to Dr. Axe, a high percentage (80%) of phosphorus in grains and beans is not absorbable because it is bound with phytic acid. The phytic acid also binds calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, all minerals necessary for oral health. The result: the nutrients are unavailable for proper utilization. Phytic acid decreases magnesium absorption by 60% and zinc by 20%.

Eventually, when a diet lacks the proper vitamins and nutrients, the blood chemistry and the ratio of calcium and phosphorus become out of balance, causing the minerals to be pulled out of our bones and teeth and resulting in bone loss and tooth decay.

A diet rich in grains and foods that contain phytic acid are now thought to be a major contributor to dental health issues. It seems that when a western diet that includes processed foods, carbohydrates, and sugars is introduced, tooth decay starts to occur.

The main focus with a western diet is the carbohydrates. Just think of all of the hamburger and hot dog buns the typical American household consumes in a single summer. The American culture craves breads, pizza, and pasta over nutritious meals like salads and other vegetables. Not only are carbohydrates tasty, but they are also filling and addictive. It's no wonder that poor dental health is so common.

The popular view about tooth decay is that the damage cannot be reversed. Studies, however, have shown that a change in diet can reverse the harmful effects of bacteria in our mouths that cause gum disease and cavities.

A study on the effects of diet to dental health that was published in the British Medical Journal was performed on 62 children with cavities. The children were divided into three diet groups. The children in Group 1 were given a standard diet that included oatmeal, a food rich in phytic acid. The children in Group 2 consumed a normal diet supplemented with vitamin D, and the children in Group 3 were given a grain-free diet with vitamin D.

The results:

Group 1 had an increase in cavities.

Group 2 saw improvements in cavities and less cavity form.

Group 3 experienced the greatest improvements in which nearly all cavities were healed.

The results of this study go to show how truly amazing our bodies are when given the ability to heal themselves through the proper minerals and nutrients. It seems that the modern diet with the introduction of modified grains has done a lot of damage to our ability to maintain good dental health. This means that, if we choose not to modify our diet by reducing our intake of grains and phytic acid-rich foods, proper dental care requires additional work on our part. It may even mean that dental health issues are inevitable.

Based on the study results, the most effective way to heal cavities naturally is to remove grains and foods rich in phytic acid. Even with this change in diet, we still need to manage the bacteria in our mouths with proper dental care and adequate saliva production.

Why Do I Need to Care About Phytic Acid?

Phytic acid is a natural substance found in plant seeds. It is known to impair the absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium, and may promote mineral deficiencies.

In addition to its negative effects, phytic acid also has some health benefits. It contains antioxidant properties and may help prevent kidney stones and cancer. It might even be part of the reason the risk of colon cancer may be reduced with a diet that includes whole grains.

According to Authority Nutrition, the consumption of phytic acid when combined with a meat protein is acceptable because the type of iron in the meat can be properly absorbed. The consumption of phytic acid with a plant-derived food, however, has negative effects because the type of iron in the plant is poorly absorbed.

So, it is not that we need to stay away from phytic acid altogether. And that's a good thing because so many of the foods on our phytic acid-rich foods list are also on our superfoods list. What we need to consider then is a well-balanced diet that contains not just plant-based food but animal protein as well to significantly reduce the effects of the phytate.

Industrialized nations where food variety is adequate generally won't have issues with any negative effects of phytic acid; however, a diet with a lot of high-phytate foods may cause a greater risk of developing vitamin deficiencies which can cause dental health issues like cavities.

What Foods Are Rich in Phytic Acid?

A significant number of foods are rich in phytic acid. They include the following:  

  • Almonds
  • Barley
  • Beans
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Lentils
  • Maize
  • Millet
  • Oat
  • Peas
  • Rice
  • Rye
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sorghum
  • Soybeans
  • Tofu
  • Triticale
  • Walnuts
  • Wheat
  • Wheat Bran
  • Wheat Germ
  • Wild Rice

This is not an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other foods that are rich in phytic acid. And it's important to note that the phytic acid content varies in all of these foods. It is higher in wild rice than in white rice, for example.

To heal cavities naturally, based on the study we talked about earlier, the diet should avoid these foods, especially when the diet does not include consumption of animal protein.

There is one exception, however.

One way a person can counteract the mineral absorption issue is by altering the food's form to reduce the phytic acid content. This can be done through soaking, sprouting, and fermentation. By simply reducing the content of phytic acid in these foods rather than eliminating it allows us to reap the benefits of both worlds.

In makes sense that if the goal is to heal a cavity, one would avoid these foods until the cavity is healed. The person would also need to increase the consumption of fat soluble vitamins and minerals. Once the cavity is healed, reintroducing these foods could be an option. One caveat to this method, however, is that cutting a particular food out of our diet and then reintroducing it after a period of time can cause some issues with our digestive system's ability to process the particular food. A visit with a physician or licensed nutritionist to discuss proposed changes in diet is advised.

In order to receive the benefits of phytic acid, we must keep it in our diet, at least in a reduced form. Lactic acid fermentation is a preferred method for fermentation. There are other methods to reducing the phytic acid content as well. Cooking the food reduces the phytic acid content to some degree.

By consuming foods rich in vitamins and minerals we give our bodies a chance to restore the calcium and phosphorus ratio in our blood and enable minerals to bond to our teeth.

Notable Foods

Natural News provides a short list of foods to focus on for dental health. They include:

  • Coconut oil

  • Grass-fed organic dairy (especially butter)

  • Grass-fed meats

  • Seafood

  • Bone broths

  • Organic cooked vegetables (soups with bone broth are ideal)

  • Organ and gland meats, like liver

Oil Pulling

In addition to maintaining a well-balanced diet, taking measures to reduce the bacteria in the mouth with proper brushing, flossing, and oil pulling [oil pulling {link for "oil pulling" article}] will help you prevent dental health issues including gum disease, gum recession, enamel erosion, and tooth decay.


We've covered a fair amount of ground, so here are a few key points to take away from what we've learned:

  • Eat nutrient-rich foods to ensure you are getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy and maintain healthy bones and teeth.

  • Make sure you are getting plenty of vitamin D, either from the sun or with a supplement.

  • Consume foods high in healthy fat like coconut oil, avocado, olives, and fish or fermented cod liver oil.

  • Avoid processed food, packaged food, and fast food.

  • Reduce the effects of phytic acid by soaking, sprouting, or fermenting phytic acid-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, and beans.

  • Ensure that your salivary glands are producing enough saliva to wash away food particles and bacteria.

  • Use a method that reduces the bacteria in your mouth, such as oil pulling, to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Combining a well-balanced diet with proper dental care is your best defense against dental health issues and may even repair damage such as cavities. If you don't know the current health condition of your teeth and gums, now is the time to schedule your next dental appointment. See how much money you can save on dental services by checking out our dental discount program.


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