Is Your Raw Food Diet Eroding Your Teeth?

I’m usually telling my patients to eat less processed foods and more whole/raw foods.  The reasons are many, but the short story is that your immune system gets higher quality nutrition from unprocessed foods and so can fight decay better in your mouth.  Unprocessed foods also create fewer blood sugar spikes (generally speaking), which improves blood Calcium and Phosphorus levels.  There’s also a deep relationship between blood sugar levels and dentinal fluid transport — the stuff that keeps your teeth healthy from the inside out.

But, a good many of my patients are also dedicated raw foodists.  Generally speaking, they’re vibrantly healthy, but in general I’ve noticed that their teeth appear older than they should — more worn down.  I’ve always guessed that the wear was simply due to increased use:  eating a raw kale salad puts more wear and tear on your teeth than does kale that’s been cooked soft.  But the matter appears to be more complex than that.

A recent post on Renegade Health points to several things raw foodists can do to decrease dental erosion.  The parts that really made sense to me:

Raw food doesn’t always mean low sugar.  Eating tons of fruit can still cause blood sugar swings — which decreases dental recalcification.  Eat plenty of fats with those sugars to level out those blood sugar spikes, and try to eat more green leafies and deep orange/yellow veggies than fruits.

Try to make your mouth less acidic and more basic.  There’re lots of ways:  from eating foods that lower whole-body, interstitial pH to doing simple home-remedy swishes.

You’re gonna need those teeth!

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