Eating Paleo Improves Your Dental Health

If you are interested in warding off dental health problems before they begin and improving your overall dental health, you have to think about what you are putting into your body.  What we eat impacts our entire body, and that, of course, includes our teeth and gums. 

As you know, following a Paleo Diet means avoiding processed and packaged foods and Food allergies like wheat, corn, dairy, soy, legumes and increasing your vegetables, fruits, seafood and lean meats. Not only do these foods lack the vitamins and minerals your body needs, they contain little to no nutritional benefits. 

This directly impacts the health of your teeth and gums.  By staying away from processed foods, your teeth and gums will benefit, just like the rest of your body. Far as your dental health is concerned, sugar is the big bad guy here.  Toxic bacterial byproducts eat away teeth structure and bone and cause cavities and periodontal disease. They create a highly acidic environment.  

Tooth decay is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus mutans.  This bacteria digests the sugar (and starches that turn into sugar from your salivary amylase) and turns it into acids.  The main acid is lactic acid, and it eats away at teeth. The subtraction of carbs and sugars greatly decreases the amount of plaque biofilm generated by cutting off the bacteria's food supply. 

Along with increasing the production of anti-microbial peptides, Vitamin D3 normalization does great things for periodontal health like decreasing the production of Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) or collagenases that are central to the inflammatory response that destroys gum and bone tissue in periodontal disease. Vitamin D3 does this very well in a dose-dependent fashion.  

Fish Oil or Krill Oil is also a very good adjunct and is documented to decrease MMP activity. The beautiful thing about the paleo diet is that you naturally increase your consumption of fish and fish oils, and you are up-regulating your production and activation of Vitamin D in your Kidney, Liver, and skin.

The bottom line:

  • The Paleo Diet that restricts carbohydrates, phytates, and gluten and includes Vitamin D3, n-3/n-6 fatty acid normalization, intermittent fasting and pastured full-fat dairy OR supplemental Vitamin K2 kicks periodontal (gum) disease's butt, big time.
  • The Paleo Diet eliminates sugar, complex carbs, and acidic foods and creates an oral environment unfavorable to bacteria growth and colonization.

Have you ever wondered why it is that the fossilized skeletons dug up by archaeologists show that the best-preserved part of the skeleton was the teeth?  Our ancestors didn’t have tooth brushes, floss, paste, or fluoride.  The best answer I have is that they also did not have sugar, starchy foods, and diets low in essential nutrients.  But we sure do lots and lots of food that doesn’t give us the nutrition we need for strong teeth and gums. 

Simply put, they ate the foods that we were designed to eat. Interestingly enough there are strong correlations between Heart Disease and Dental Health, and the paleo diet has been shown to help ward off both of these diseases.  So, your health and your smile will be better for eating a healthy ancestral diet. Here are some links to past posts of Paleo Primal Meals that we have used at the house: 

Friday Feast - Chicken Breast Stuffed with Garlic, Spinach, Cheese, and Prosciutto with Salad from the garden

Friday Feast - Roasted Red Pepper Turkey Burger

Friday Feast - Smoked Salmon Casserole & Sauteed Red Pepper and Kale

Friday Feast - Greek Herb Crusted Cod and Mint Roasted Beets

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