More than sixty years ago, Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist from Cleveland, OH, embarked on a series of unique investigations that would grab his attention and energies for the next ten years. In his practice, Price was disturbed by what he found when he looked into his patients' mouths. Rarely did an examination of an adult patient reveal anything but rampant decay, often accompanied by serious problems elsewhere in the body such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, intestinal complaints, and chronic fatigue.
He was also very concerned about the dentition of younger patients. He observed that crowded, crooked teeth were becoming more and more common, along with what Price called “facial deformities” – overbites, narrowed faces, underdevelopment of the nose, lack of well-defined cheekbones, and pinched nostrils. Such children also suffered from one or more complaints of frequent infections, allergies, anemia, asthma, poor vision, lack of coordination, fatigue, and behavioral problems.
How did Dr. Weston Price Investigate?
Price’s bewilderment gave way to a unique idea. He traveled to various isolated parts of the world where the inhabitants had no contact with “civilization,” and he studied their health and physical development. He studied traditional Eskimos, Indian tribes in Canada and the Florida Everglades, South sea islanders, Aborigines in Australia, Maoris in New Zealand, Peruvian and Amazonian Indians and tribesmen in Africa.
In every isolated region he visited, Price found tribes or villages where virtually every individual exhibited genuine physical perfection. Tooth decay was rare and dental crowding and occlusions–nonexistent. Price took photograph after photograph of beautiful smiles, and noted there was an almost complete absence of disease, even those living in physical environments that were extremely harsh.
What Is Special About The Weston Price Diet?
Price took samples of native foods home with him to Cleveland and studied them in his laboratory.
He found these diets contained at least four times the minerals and water soluble vitamins–vitamin C and B complex–as the American diet of his day. Wouldn’t Price undoubtedly find a greater discrepancy in 2014 due to continual depletion of our soils through industrial farming practices?!
Another surprise Price discovered was the diets of healthy native groups contained at least ten times more vitamin A and vitamin D than the American diet of his day! These vitamins are found only in animal fats–butter, lard, egg yolks, fish oils and foods with fat-rich cellular membranes like liver and other organ meats, fish eggs and shell fish.
Fat-Soluble Vitamins and Dental Health
Price describes the fat-soluble vitamins as “catalysts” or “activators” upon which the assimilation of all the other nutrients depended–protein, minerals and vitamins.
Dr. Price concluded the foods that allow people of every race and every climate to be healthy are whole natural foods–meat with its fat, organ meats, whole milk products, fish, insects, whole grains, tubers, vegetables and fruit–not newfangled concoctions made with white sugar, refined flour and rancid and chemically altered vegetable oils.
What is Activator X?
Dr. Price found "activator X" as an important factor in tooth mineralization. Activator X is now believed to be the fat-soluble vitamin K2. It's related to fertility and occurs primarily in butter when the cows eat rapidly growing green grass. To get this, many people add high-quality, grass-fed, raw milk to their diet. After doing this, their cavities have stopped, and some people can even see new tooth structure building. The power of raw milk or butter to stop cavities comes from the fertility factor present during certain times of the year.
Dr. Price suggests eating 1 tablespoon or more of high-quality butter per day. Without this substance, the body does not have activating “messages” to the hormonal system to build healthy teeth and bones. In India, ghee from a cow or buffalo is considered a sacred food for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and growing children. It is precisely this vitamin K2 component that assures bright white healthy teeth.
Nutrition Recommendations from Weston A. Price
Here are the very important dietary changes for healthy teeth and healing cavities, based of Dr. Weston Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration:
- Include pastured, grass-fed butter every day (see info about Activator X). It’s a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins A, D and K2, heart-disease preventing CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), and so much more. The vitamin K2 in pastured butter is important for bone and tooth development and maintenance.
- In addition to grass-fed butter, Vitamin D also comes from sunlight, cod liver oil, or a vitamin D3 supplement.
- Include full-fat dairy every day (see info about Activator X).
- Include eggs, and this includes the yolk—it’s where all the important fat-soluble vitamins are found.
- Include organs and glands like bone marrow and liver.
- Eat mineral-rich bone broths.
- A variety of seafoods, such as nori.
- Fermented or sprouted grains only; no unfermented grains such as oatmeal, breakfast cereal, crackers, etc. Or even better, no grains at all.
- Limited nuts; beans in moderation, only if they're soaked overnight or longer prior to cooking. This is due to the phytic acid content. Phytic acid easily binds with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, making them unavailable. Read more information about phytic acid here.
- Cooked and raw vegetables.
- A limited quantity of fruit (one piece per day or less), but no refined sweets (ie: honey, maple syrup, juice, etc.)
- No industrially processed food (ie: processed grains, breakfast cereals, bagels, pasta, crackers, chips, etc.).
- Eat more Activator X (see above description). Green Pasture's X-factor high vitamin butter oil is an amazing source of vitamin K2.
- Add liquid silica daily. Silicon is the primary calcium management element and is responsible for making sure calcium is not stored in any locations other than bone. This benefits the health of the teeth.
Bottom Line: People who follow Dr. Price’s program watch their teeth re-mineralize, their cavities heal, and their gum disease vanish. Even small changes and modifications to the diet can make a positive difference.
If Dr. Price’s diet has helped you or someone you know, we would love to hear your story!
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods