Help me hack diet/supplements for arresting tooth decay, healing teeth & bad gums & getting the most bang for the buck with minimum necessary items to be effective.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 08, 2013 at 7:47 PM

I have a limited budget but will do what is necessary to arrest and reverse semi-severe tooth decay.

What diet/supplements will give me the most bang for my buck, and why?

Please analyze my current knowledge and revise, or feel free to build from scratch if that is more convenient.

[Edit: Apologies, the formatting is messy. It appears it didn't translate properly. Will attempt to clean it up & fix it.]

Apologies for the length, or any unclarities in the writing.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. This is a fairly daunting diet/protocol to design.

I know of:


  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil & High X-Factor Butter Oil -- 1/2-1 tsp each / day -- K2 (unsure how much), D (some), and A for calcium usage and synthesis

    1. Best source I know of: Green Pastures

      ??2. Price: ~$112 for 2-4 months.

      ??3. Sounds most crucial because of K2 & Weston A. Price's research

      ??4. Thoughts? Dosage correct? Crucial?

  • Sunlight -- Vitamin D ; odontoblasts supposedly contain the most vitamin D-utilizing structures by far of any other part of the body, lending credence to the idea that vitamin D is crucial to developing secondary dentin

    1. is still summer; can dress lightly and expose self to sun around noon

      ??2. Free!

      ??3. Have Type IV or type III skin - thoughts on how long to be exposed to the sun?

  • Liquid CoQ10 - raydawg recommended this in a previous tooth decay question for bad gums & swishing, but I do not know why.

    1. Cost: ~$33 for ?? days

  • Bitters (e.g. Swedish Bitters) for gum health

    ??1. According to the "Alternatives to Dentists" DVD, poor gum health is often linked to bad digestion. Bitters supposedly help with this.

    ??2. Cost: ~$10/ 2-3+ months (negligible)

  • Coconut Oil (extra virgin) (for consumption <= 2 tbsp./day and oil pulling at least once a day)

    ??1. Consumption: supposedly benefits overall health/gut, which will tax system less, and is antibacterial.

    ??2. Oil Pulling: Have done semi-regularly, and noticed large difference in cleanliness of teeth/robustness feeling. Considering 2-3 times/day.

    ??3. Cost: $20/32 fl. oz. (Dr. Bronner's) & ~$64/gal. (Green Pastures)

    ??4. Thoughts? More frequent oil pulling? Worth it?

  • Bone Meal (extra calcium, one PaleoHacks member reported "chewing on bone meal tabs" helping with tooth pain in peppercorn-sized cavity)

    ??1. Unsure where to get this, though do have access to pastured chicken ($5-$10/lb for meat & bones) and rabbit bones ($3-5/lb.)

  • Bones or Marrow Bones (for stock/broth) ??1. Local Whole Foods sometimes sells grass-fed beef bones for $3-$6/lb. Otherwise, there are the chicken and rabbit bones mentioned above. ??2. Marrow bones specifically important? How much broth to drink in a day? 1 qt.? More? How much bones-to-water ratio?

  • Raw Milk (& Raw Milk Cheeses & Raw Milk Yogurts) - also do not fully understand why these are said to be very beneficial.

    ??1. Raw Milk: Feels amazing consuming when fresh. Recently received milk, cream, and other butter/sour cream products in general from my farmer have been tasting bad, not clabbered.

    ??2. Raw Milk Cheeses: Have tried sheep, goat, and cow's milk cheeses (presumably not grass-fed) from Whole Foods but am slightly intolerant of them. Far less so with raw cheeses. Have not tried my farmer's cheeses because am wary of bad milk.

    ??3. Raw Yogurt: Farmer claims to have "raw yogurt"- this feels very good and tastes fine.

    ??4. Yogurt: $7/quart

    ??5. Thoughts? Is raw milk or cheese necessary? Use ferments for K2 instead? How much raw yogurt to consume, if at all?

  • Grass-fed Ghee (potentially provides more D/K2. Unsure if this is worth it.)

    ??1. Best sources I know of: Pure Indian Foods (~$22/16oz.) [Eek.] ; Purity Farms ($11/13 oz.)

    ??2. Quite expensive, but worth it? Useful for cooking, or just for patting on foods...?

  • Horsetail (claims can be cycled 5-6 days on, x days off because of silica content & bone health.)

    ??1. also from "Alternatives to Dentists" DVD

    ??2. claims only the "equisetum hyemale" species works for healing teeth, not "equisetum arvense". Unsure why.

    ??3. I have used 1-3 tsp./day of equisetum arvense powder in water to somewhat significant effect in hardening/strengthening teeth & eliminating pain. Also notice stronger bones and nails but no healing of decay. Possibly slowing/freezing.

    ??4. I cannot find equisetum hyemale.

    ??5. Cost : $10/2-4 months (arvense -- negligible)

  • Poultices (prickly pear, clay, aloe vera) -- claim is that poultices draw out infections and can make a large turning point in tooth pain disappearance; have not researched fully.

    ??1. Unsure where to obtain a prickly pear pad (said to be most effective in "Alternatives to Dentists"

    ??2. Idea is to leave a large poultice on for extended periods of time until tooth infection fades

    ??3. Attempted an external clay poultice once but could not adjust consistency to adhere to skin

    ??4. Cost: ???

  • Essential Oils - supposedly kill strep mutans bacteria but have not researched fully because of sheer number of options & potential damage to gut flora if swallowed

  • Tooth Powders - Have heard about these in passing.

Situation, Background

  • I noticed slight change and loss of volume/length in a canine tooth in November-December 2012. I had not brushed or flossed regularly for awhile (on/off spurts). This caused distress, but butter oil/cod liver oil were not incorporated into the diet.

  • In March 2013, I noticed black crevasse and decay in other teeth. Tooth volume continued shrinking.

  • In April - May 2013, I watched Alternatives to Dentists DVD and began using horsetail, Swedish Bitters, & brief stint of vit. D supplementation. Also consumed lots of wild salmon through June 2013.

  • Sometime around then, I began eating a strict Paleo low-carb diet.

  • June 2013 - August, attempted a tighter budget, became distracted, ate little fish, and neglected cleaning teeth and hydration for other life stresses/goals

  • Now: Four upper teeth hurt, many molar-like teeth have pits/crevices in the center, and lower canines feel like the point is somewhat dull/deformed. Teeth feel like volume is decreasing, but only 2 have significant decay to where the inside is missing a significant (peppercorn-sized)portion.

  • No pain (or rare) until recently. Now sharp pains often, mostly when I don't clean my teeth for half a day to two.

  • One wisdom tooth actually now seems to be missing a largish chunk out of the side facing away from the other teeth and another hurts sharply (feels sharply painful down to the roots despite no hole in the actual tooth

  • Teeth in general seem to be developing many crevices on biting surface where befoe, there was only one in the centre.

  • I clean my teeth with a sharp, dry stick and gave not used a toothbrush since April 2013.

  • I use waxed, unflavored floss on occasion gently and likely will more often because of it's effectiveness in removing food particles beyond stick-cleaning / -scrubbing.

  • The most recent times I've flossed with a "flosser" (a short length of floss string attached to a plastic device which holds it taut), when the floss became entangled further up towards the gums, the teeth felt wiggly or weak, and the gums felt weakly attached or puffy, leafing me to believe weak gums may also be involved.

  • I do not think the pulp is fully damaged on any teeth.

I am willing to use whatever methods it may tak to arrest and reverse tooth decay and am open to anything, even conventional "fluoride" stuff, so long as it actually works.

Diet, Resources, Available Cooking

  • Diet was sporadically bad (eating little, sometimes periods of being hungry for days on end) in past months, which may have contributed to body taking minerals from teeth

  • Diet now consists of: ~2 lbs grass-fed beef, 3 dozen pastured soy-free chicken eggs, grass-fed beef fat for cooking, pastured chicken liver & hearts, 1 qt. raw milk yogurt, and assorted veggies per week.

  • Hydration: Hydration is somewhat spotty, which will affect saliva generation & overall health. Tap water or tap water & Pur filter have an odd quality which make me feel ill, so resorting to bottled water for the moment

  • In the process of incorporating more veggies -- is currently mostly meat & fat with some-medium amount of greens

  • In the process of obtaining pastured chicken (wings/whole) and rabbit bones

  • Have access to fish & shellfish, but it is expensive.

  • Have access to a body of water & potentially shellfish-gathering areas, albeit with little no experience.

  • Very much like the idea of eating bugs but also have no experience with regards to catching or selecting them.

  • Have access to game, pastured turkey, and grass-fed lamb, but it is significantly more expensive than beef or pastured chicken.

  • Have no oven at the moment (so no fancy roasts/braising in the oven) but can purchase one.

  • Induction cooker tends towards too high of a temperature, so simmering is very difficult/impossible, but can also purchase a more sensitive cooker.

  • All cooking is currently pan-frying with beef fat or soup

  • Have a large stockpot

  • Have no crockpot, am wary of potential lead concerns, but would consider purchasing one if stock was crucial and impractical to make on induction cooker.

Apologies again for the length, and much appreciation for any - partial or full - responses.

Medium avatar


on August 09, 2013
at 08:22 PM

of course eating a fair amount of k2 rich gouda and pastured butter will help as well



on August 09, 2013
at 07:34 PM

Thank you for the addition of your anecdote.



on August 09, 2013
at 07:33 PM

Thak you for the addition of your anecdote. Is very useful. :-)

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5 Answers



on August 09, 2013
at 04:03 PM

Well, dang. Any way you could be talked into some conventional treatment mixed in there? I just honestly do not think that, given the description of your problems, you will be able to acheive good oral health with only alternative measures. That being said, you can definitely make some improvement and I would be glad to give pointers on that. But just know that I am NOT advocating this instead of conventional dental care, but rather in addition to or until you can get an appointment (former dental professional here).

You've got a lot of good ideas regarding supplements. Definitely do those - the FCLO and butter oil in particular. Bone broth is another, IMHO, must in this protocol. If you need to get a different stockpot or a stockpot, it's a worthy investment. It's important to keep the stock at juuuuust below a simmer and not at a boil. I'm not sure you could OVERDO drinking bone broth.

Sunlight for your vitamin D - also great. As far as how much sun you need, here's a calculator from the Norwegian Institute from Air Research I really like. It's more customizable to your environment than others I've seen. http://nadir.nilu.no/~olaeng/fastrt/VitD-ez_quartMED.html

Liquid CoQ10 - I do not know about that, either. Bitters - if you are having poor digestion, it can definitely affect oral health. That's branching out quite a bit, though. I will note that you do not have to actually "take bitters" however; just the bitter flavor is enough and you can probably get this from your veggies and some herbs without having to buy something extra. Here's WAPF on that: http://www.westonaprice.org/basics/bitters-the-revival-of-a-forgotten-flavor

Coconut oil - yes, do the pulling. 2 times per day, after brushing and flossing, should do. Not sure if you really need to spring for the unrefined virgin, the regular cooking kind would probably do fine, but that's up to you. Sesame oil is also a favored oil for oil-pulling.

Your raw milks/ cheeses/ yogurts- I say YAY. It's the calcium, the K2, and the enzymes. It's probably hard to over do that as well, from a dental standpoint, so long as you're not sweetening them. 1oz cheese or 4oz yogurt per day should be a sufficient minimum. Non dairy ferments are also great. I don't think you should choose one over the other, but try to get a variety. Plus, vegetable ferments are very cheap!

The ghee is very expensive. If you're having the butter oil with your FCLO, I would probably skip that in regards to your dental plan.

Horsetail and poultices- I have no idea about those.

Essential oils - yes, I would definitely look into this if you are going the alternative route. Just dilute with water and use as a rinse. Be sure and spit well. You should not use enough to harm your digestion even if a tiny bit gets swallowed if it is diluted. Myrrh is the main one I am familiar with, from an oral health standpoint, but this mentions some other herbs/oils that are options: http://jamesbronson.vpweb.com/upload/Botanical%20Remedies%20for%20Periodontal%20Therapy.pdf

If flossing isn't working the best for you (and sometimes it just doesn't) a Waterpik is the way to go. I have one myself and love love love it. It is easy to use, you can put your rinses with essential oils directly into it and make sure that the antibacterial/antifungals get all the little spots, and you don't have to worry about cutting your gums. It does sound like you have a significant gum problem, based on your descriptions, and a Waterpik is the best thing I know of for that. You should still try to floss at least a few times a week, though, even you have a Waterpik. Use the real string kind, not the little piece of floss on a stick. That way if it does get stuck, you can just pull it out horizontally and not feel like you're going to pull a tooth out. It also helps it curve around the tooth more, getting more yuck off than the piece on a stick things. There's a lot of reasons it could get caught and stuck and snarl up (breakage, hardened and sharp bits of tartar under the gum, etc), but you should still use it as much as possible.

And lastly - your stick thing gave me the heebie jeebies! For the love of Mike, please go back to a regular toothbrush! A soft one! There is really no substitute. A stick simply cannot reach the same places, get under the gumline in the same way, have an established and tested hardness, etc... a toothbrush is where it's at. Perhaps those miswak sticks or whatever are fine for maintaing a healthy mouth (not sure I would even go that far) but for an unhealthy mouth I would say absolutely NO! I really think this is super important, just as important as all the bone broth and sunlight in the world!


on August 10, 2013
at 05:22 AM

Unless you want to look at your revamped/fortified teeth in a jewelry box, I strongly suggest you start slamming megadoses of vitamin C (powdered ascorbic acid is very cheap) to support your gum tissues. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and supports the growth of connective tissue. Lack of Vit C can lead to gingivitis and bleeding gums. I suggest you take a sublaxative dose of Vit C daily (start with 5g--yes, grams, not mgs) in several doses and boost it until your bowels get loose, then dial it back.

Medium avatar


on August 09, 2013
at 08:21 PM

All you need is vitamin d and vitamin k2 to reverse tooth decay.

Get sun everyday for at least 30 mins and try to expose as much of your skin as possible, think nothing but tighty whities or a banana hammock.

For the days you miss out on sun take min 10 000 IU of vitamn D3, now foods is good enough.

The best source of k2 is through eating natto, you can find it at any asian supermarket or you could get supplements for k2 derived from natto or even better you could make your own natto at home, it's really easy. Look up mercola k2 and vitamin d for more info on correct dose of k2.

Medium avatar


on August 09, 2013
at 08:22 PM

of course eating a fair amount of k2 rich gouda and pastured butter will help as well

Medium avatar

on August 09, 2013
at 04:13 PM

It seems as though you've done a lot of research so I won't reiterate the "why," but I'll give you my personal experience.

I noticed some old filled cavities started to hurt and turn grey

I tried the fancy cod liver oil from Green Pasture, I took two capsules (500mg) each everyday, and i cooked practically everything with ghee. This stopped the pain (within a week or so) and seemed to reverse decay. Then I tried Nordic Naturals Cod liver oil because it was way less expensive- and it seems to do the job. Early on, whenever I stop taking them...the pain seemed to come back. After a few months if I skip a few doses it's no big deal.



on August 09, 2013
at 07:33 PM

Thak you for the addition of your anecdote. Is very useful. :-)



on August 09, 2013
at 07:34 PM

Thank you for the addition of your anecdote.


on August 09, 2013
at 03:16 AM

I will tell you what I do for supplements. During the winter, I take 2000 Vit D daily, but not any other time of the year, because I get a lot of sunlight. I also take 1g high quality Omega 3 fish oil most days. That is it, all of the rest of my vitamins and minerals I get the good ole fashion way, eating a wide variety of meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and spices.

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