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Recognising the Connection Between Nutrition and Health

The Dental Diet

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Weston A. Price D.D.S died over 70 years ago, but he remains a legend in the worldwide dental community. Although mild-mannered and almost nerdy looking in the photos that remain of the Cleveland, Ohio, USA native Dr. Price is regarded by many as the “Isaac Newton of Nutrition" and one of the pioneers of modern dentistry.

Price spent most of his working life seeking to solve the puzzle behind a question that had haunted him since dental training school; what were the "factors responsible for fine teeth among the people who had them?" After decades of travel to the four corners of the world and the endless study of all kinds of people (and their teeth) Price concluded that nutritional deficiencies had a far bigger part to play in poor dental health and even in dental deformities (crooked teeth, overcrowded teeth, cavities) than had ever been thought before.

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Fast forward to the 21st century and one Australian dentist has revisited these older theories and added some of his own, resulting in the publication of a new book, The Dental Diet. 

Dr. Steven Lin, who trained in dentistry at the University of Sydney but also had a previous background in biomedical sciences, first became interested in Price's theories on the connection between nutrition and dental health several years ago but was skeptical of them at first as they did not quite match what he had been taught in dental school.

Delving further into them, he found himself beginning to agree. He now practices as a preventative dental health consultant, espousing his belief to the masses both via his practice and his book.

One of the biggest reasons that Lin changed his mind was the fact that he, to a certain degree, experimented on himself. Believing he consumed too much sugar (despite telling his own patients to cut down) he cut it out altogether. Feeling better he quickly realised that the sugar had seemingly been doing more than just endangering his own teeth.

He surmises that certain nagging health conditions - getting colds and flus several times a year, low energy levels, insomnia and the slow healing of injuries - which he personally experienced an improvement in - could all be chalked up to his excessive sugar consumption.

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In his book, Lin argues that all kinds of dental health problems, including crooked and rotten teeth, and inflamed gums may be caused or worsened by poor dietary choices and even basic oral health measures such as twice daily brushing and flossing may not be enough to overcome the damage a poor diet does to the teeth and gums.

Whatever you may think of Dr. Lin's theories one thing is for sure; sugar is terrible for dental health and yes, the poor diet and dental health connection does make sense. Will adopting the kind of diet Lin suggests help prevent visits to the emergency dentist? It certainly can't hurt to try. Combine a better diet - there is a focus on fruits, veggies and vitamins in Lin's book - with good accepted oral health practices and it only makes sense that you - and your teeth and gums - will be at least a little healthier, especially if you can avoid the accepted 'dental demon' that is sugar as often as possible!

Emergency Dentist Sydney Says:

If you are interested in these theories you can pick up The Dental Diet here. And don't forget, another accepted part of maintaining good oral health are regular dental checkups so if you haven't seen a dentist for a while don't forget that we're here whenever you need us, whether you have an immediate emergency or not.

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