Pleasurable eating: Foods that relieve sensitive teeth
Sensitive and tentative
I had just walked for two blissful hours along a beautiful coastline on a hot summer’s day and arrived at a beachside cafe famous for its homemade ice creams. Taking my time to select a scoop each of lemon sorbet and salted caramel, I carried my cone down to enjoy it on the warm sand.
Licking the ice cream delicately, I tried to channel its sweetness along the centre of my tongue. But, inevitably an icy mouthful met my molars in a jolt of electric pain. Tears flooded my eyes as I winced and my shoulders tensed involuntarily, my happy mood spoiled.
Despite special sensitive-teeth toothpaste, vigilant flossing and regular dental visits, food was an unreliable pleasure in those days. Hot soup, crunchy apples and honey on toast were all risky pleasures before I learned the secrets of holistic teeth health.
Feed your teeth
Then, five years ago I tried out a teeth healing diet in a desperate (and successful) attempt to avoid yet another root canal. The same strategies which cured that root pain have made my teeth so strong and resilient that temperature sensitivity is now a thing of the past, along with cavities.
Nutrition is the key to hard, glassy tooth enamel because our teeth are alive and a healthy body constantly replenishes the enamel. Nutrients flow from the digestive system, through vital organs producing hormones and proteins, to be delivered via the bloodstream into the roots of our teeth where they finally pulse outwards from the dentin to the enamel.
With the right nutrients flowing from the inside of the tooth to the surface, enamel remineralizes continuously. In healthy teeth, the sensitive nerves in the dentin are protected by a strong enamel shell which actively repels decay-forming bacteria.
Sensitivity caused by weak enamel and receding gums can be relieved by eating whole foods rich in fat-soluble vitamins A and D, vitamin C and minerals. These nutrients contribute to teeth and gum health best when eaten as whole foods rather than isolated in supplements.
Foods to relieve sensitive teeth
The teeth healing diet includes lots of animal protein in the form of grass-fed meat; organ meat especially liver; bone broth, raw dairy, and eggs along with fresh nutrient-dense vegetables and fruit. Although grains, beans, nuts and seeds, sugar and processed foods are mostly harmful for teeth, it is possible to relieve sensitivity just by adding the necessary nutrients without depriving yourself of foods you consider essential.
I found that regularly eating an abundance of the delicious food needed for teeth health gradually displaced my attachment to sweets and other teeth harming foods. (I avoid ice cream now, not because it’s cold, but because I have lost my sweet tooth!)
A few of the tastiest foods to relieve sensitivity:
Grass Fed Butter
Your teeth love butter! It is rich in fat soluble Vitamin A which is essential for teeth healing, so feel free to slather it on vegetables and sourdough bread daily. In fact, full-fat dairy products in general are teeth healing. Try raw milk if you can get it, otherwise enjoy the creamy goodness of non-homogenised full-fat organic milk, double cream, yogurt and all kinds of cheese.
Chicken-liver pate is teeth healing dynamite! The combination of vitamin D-laden livers with the vitamin A in butter and cream makes this a treat to eat often.
Liver holds a special place in every traditional cuisine because it is essential for growth and health. Liver was often served to pregnant women and small children.
What was the traditional liver dish at your grandparent’s table? That’s the one you should be eating every week for your teeth.
Caviar like all fish eggs,is packed with a powerful punch of teeth healing vitamin D, more by weight than most land animal eggs, meat or organs.
Indulge, celebrate, treat yourself to caviar, or look out for the more affordable fish roe sold in season at good fishmongers. Its distinctive salty fishy taste is quite addictive and can be eaten as often as you want.
Bone broth is liquid gold for teeth. Broth is enjoying stardom as a super food trend right now, for the same reason our grandmothers loved it. Full of minerals, vitamins and collagen it is easy to digest and cheap to make.
Simmer leftover bones from meat, chicken or fish with a splash of vinegar to extract all the goodness. Drink it straight or use as a base for soup, risotto or sauces. Up to 3 cups per day will see your teeth remineralising and sensitivity disappearing.
Originally published at Sixty and Me