What Really Causes Cavities?

When I was a kid, my dentist gave me a lollipop after each appointment as a reward for being a good patient (i.e., not crying or screaming or biting his fingers off). But at the time, I didn’t understand why someone who discouraged the indulgence of sweets presented me with the very thing I was supposed to avoid.

Dr. Royal Lee would’ve been less concerned about my occasional indulgence in a lollipop and more concerned with my overall diet. He disagreed that simply avoiding sugar is a guarantee against cavities, although he warned against its increased use and refinement.

But way back in 1923, Dr. Lee delivered this speech to his graduating class at Marquette University Dental School, in which he outlined the real cause of dental caries: “a vitamin-deficient diet.”

In a speech ahead of its time, Lee illustrates how treating the symptom of dental disease—cavities—doesn’t address the systemic cause. He notes that “the presence of a systemic infection sets up a vicious circle, as the hyperactivity of the endocrines in fighting the disease makes the vitamin starvation more acute, such starvation being the original cause of susceptibility to the infection.”

To avoid this vicious circle, Lee recommends treating the underlying cause with a healthy diet of whole foods that includes raw foods and raw milk to provide the body with the necessary vitamins and minerals it needs to effectively fight off infection. Only by strengthening the whole body can you prevent the diseases that develop from within.

Image from iStock/alexluengo

Samantha Prust

Samantha Prust is a freelance writer, editor, and owner of Your Editor On Call in Fort Collins, Colorado. She can be contacted at YourEditorOnCall@gmail.com.

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