Tuesday, April 21, 2015
So - we have tooth decay. I would like to say that we have "cavities" caused by eating too much sugar and not brushing because that would be a pretty easy remedy to fix - Set a timer and cut out sweets. But, alas, it's more complicated then that. We have CHRONIC tooth decay, food intolerance and major deficiencies. Be still my heart...it's not your fault.
I've been learning a lot about natural tooth care. In the last two week I have bought me and Brady ionic toothbrushes, Earthpaste toothpaste, I've made a natural baking soda plus essential oil mouth wash, and I have started flossing religiously every night.
Last year we took Brady in to have his teeth cleaned by our holistic dentist and saw that all four of his adult molars were basically crumbling away. I mean...they were half gone. Pretty gruesome. My dentist told me about the gut/tooth correlation - one that I had never heard of. Like most people, I've always just been told that cavities are caused by not brushing well enough. I had no idea that there is glycerin in our toothpaste, that the teeth are actually living structures in our body that basically tell you the health of the rest of your body, that the flouride in our city water basically poisons us and breaks down enamel. Had no clue. She mentioned that I should try going off gluten because people with celiac show that they have pretty soft teeth compared to none celiacs.
So - we went of gluten and I watched the sugar and after he got fillings (sans bad stuff) I thought we were good to go. To be honest, besides switching to a natural toothpaste, having the kids brush after any treats and watching gluten - it was kind of off my radar.
Fast forward one year. I decide to floss Brady's teeth last week for him since he lacks the fine motor skills himself at this point. I put a drop of essential oils on the floss and begin. I see something black behind one of his teeth and think "shoot, he's getting a cavity again!" I put the floss up there, trying to get the essential oil to get into his gum line, and when I bring the floss down...half the tooth just falls out. Oh my. I felt horrible - pretty sure that I had hurt him really bad. "Did that hurt buddy? Oh my goodness I'm so sorry!!!!" It didn't hurt him at all he assured me - didn't feel a thing. On further inspection the piece of tooth that came out was completely grey and black and was super soft - like a piece of cooked corn. I continue flossing gently and when I get to the tooth directly across from the rotten one - a white chip comes off.
So - he has an appointment with the dentist this coming Friday, he's in no pain and that is the earliest that I can get him in. I can't even begin to describe the guilt I felt (that's what we mom's do best sometimes isn't it?) I guess the reason I felt so bad is because I had read quite a bit about tooth care (I even read the entire Dr Price research which is no easy feat, where he studied people from different demographics and their diets and their teeth. It's a pretty interesting read although lengthy.) I've spent so much time researching autism and what nutrients the kids need to help them with some of their challenges that the whole tooth things just kind of got shoved to the back recesses of my brain. Like way in back.
My conclusion is that even though we were gluten free I still let the kids have oats, nuts, beans and fruit. In the Cure Tooth Decay book I've found out that those foods all contain phytic acid which for some people - can rot their teeth. I also found out that people with tooth decay generally are deficient in tons of nutrients (read about it here). This is really no shock to my husband and I because we have been trying to figure out Brady's deficiencies for awhile. He is very pale, very thin, and gets tired really easily. Some nights he will say "I can barely move my legs." Deficiencies from our SAD (Standard American Diet) are very common now days but especially in kids with autism. For some reason their bodies just don't generally absorb nutrients the same way as neurotypical kids.
So - the plan.
I ordered fermented cod liver oil (the highly esteemed and rather pricey Green Pastures brand) and we are boosting his Vitamin K, A, and D intake. I will need to start giving him a better probiotic for his gut. He needs magnesium with calcium because it is better absorbed that way. We are going to try and remineralize his teeth and it will be rather...trying. I will probably go ahead and start all of the kids on this regiment too just to prevent - and als0...me. I see dark lines in the tops of my teeth...deep in the crevices and after I started reading about tooth decay I guess that's a sign of my teeth starting to break down in the centers. Great.
I have read tons and tons of stories that prove that you can save your teeth, it's just a pretty big change - just google search it if you or your littles are also having problems with cavities - it's pretty intense! One part of me is happy that there is something I can do about it, the other part of me screams "NOOOOOOOOOOO." Just one more responsibility, one more thing to be wary of.
In the long run, this is what being a good mama does. She searches for answers to help her littles, she puts in the time and the service for their betterment, she supports them where they can't support themselves - she moves forward and stops blaming herself.
So - another journey begins for the Corleys. We are remineralizing (or trying too.) Stay tuned.