Claire Wakefield, Naturopath
With the Victorian school holidays upon us, I thought it might be a fitting time to have a bit of a chat about dental health. If you're anything like me, you probably wait for the holidays to get your children in for their dental checkups and appointments, so it might also be the time you first find out that your child needs a filling.
Today I wanted to bring your attention the importance of nutrition when it comes to dental health, and the fact that mineral deficiencies can affect your tooth structure.
To demonstrate this, I am going to talk about a Hair analysis of a young child that was done recently at the Lab... I have had the pleasure of working with this child since he was born, and I know that he is not fed sugary foods, nor is he fed many starchy foods. So in theory, his tooth health should be amazing.
He is now old enough to be cutting teeth, and it seemed that as his mouth started to develop, he was also developing multiple cavities as well as what appeared to be 'soft teeth''. They are also mildly discoloured.
At my advice, his parents took him to a holistic dentist, and then on to several other pediatric dentists, trying to find some answers. All they were suggested was to up his oral hygiene with more regular brushing, and potentially also antibiotics to prevent infection into the gumline (some of his teeth are very deeply decayed).
It felt a little like they were being sent in circles, and mum had already done much of her own research into the remineralisation diets. So the child was being nutritionally supported as much as he could be, as far as we knew.
We decided to do a hair analysis (now that he finally had enough hair to cut!), and this is where it gets really interesting... Have a look at the image below:
The two minerals I want to outline are highlighted with a green arrow:
1) A Magnesium level that is next to nothing, and
2) Relatively high Lead tissue levels
I would also like to point out that Boron is extremely high- Boron is important for bone (and therefore tooth) density, but at this stage I cannot comment on whether this is a product of the Remineralisation program he was placed on.
Magnesium is an important mineral for enamel formation. Studies have found that it is more important than Calcium and Fluoride when it comes to enamel health. Magnesium is responsible for the laying down of Calcium in the right places in the body, and interestingly, sufficient levels of Magnesium in the body can help to reduce the potential toxicity effects of Fluoride and Fluorosis (which can cause browning and pitting of the tooth enamel).
I did read a couple of studies the other day that suggested that compared Fluoride deficient children against Magnesium deficient children, and the Mag deficient children had far higher rates of dental caries! If I can find those studies again I will post a link on the social media pages for anyone interested.
Actually, this was the reason I suggested doing the hair analysis in the first place- I wanted to investigate if the child had any significant levels of Lead, as Lead is known to directly displace Calcium in the body. This means that in the presence of Lead and Calcium insufficiency, the body will lay down the Lead in the places Calcium is usually required; the bones, teeth, and also within the Calcium channels in the nerves and muscles of the body - think of Calcium as the mineral that fires the nerves and contracts the muscles, so when this is displaced with Lead, you get a very sllllloooowww response to stimulus, and quite of the child/person will present with a relatively low IQ. (low neural firing in the brain).
I will point out that whilst this result shows Calcium levels that are not too bad, the child has been undergoing homeopathic 'tooth' protocols that includes plenty of forms of Calcium.
I wont go into where we think these issues have come from, as there are a vast number of places and situations that would arrive at low Magnesium and High lead. But what I want to point out here is that there is a world of research that demonstrates that both of these minerals will have either a positive or negative impact on the health of your child's teeth.
If you are a parent who is getting frustrated with your child's cavities, and can honestly say that they don't eat that much sugar, I would urge you to consider a Hair analysis so that you can understand their chemistry and what can actually be done about it.