I think I have a dental cavity or two. I have black spots that have appeared on two of my back jaw teeth. I cannot eat anything sweet on those teeth as it causes severe pain. I've never had a cavity before and do not want to get a filling. Has anyone had success trying to heal a cavity? I read this on the Weston A. Price Foundation site and think that maybe I could heal it. Any thoughts?
Vitamin K2 and Dental Health
Weston Price was primary interested in Activator X because of its ability to control dental caries. By studying the remains of human skeletons from past eras, he estimated that there had been more dental caries in the preceding hundred years than there had been in any previous thousand-year period and suggested that Activator X was a key substance that people of the past obtained but that modern nutrition did not adequately provide. Price used the combination of high-vitamin cod liver oil and high-Activator X butter oil as the cornerstone of his protocol for reversing dental caries. This protocol not only stopped the progression of tooth decay, but completely reversed it without the need for oral surgery by causing the dentin to grow and remineralize, sealing what were once active caries with a glassy finish. One 14-year-old girl completely healed 42 open cavities in 24 teeth by taking capsules of the high-vitamin cod liver oil and Activator X concentrate three times a day for seven months.
Activator X also influences the composition of saliva. Price found that if he collected the saliva of individuals immune to dental caries and shook it with powdered bone or tooth meal, phosphorus would move from the saliva to the powder; by contrast, if he conducted the same procedure with the saliva of individuals susceptible to dental caries, the phosphorus would move in the opposite direction from the powder to the saliva. Administration of the Activator X concentrate to his patients consistently changed the chemical behavior of their saliva from phosphorus-accepting to phosphorus-donating. The Activator X concentrate also reduced the bacterial count of their saliva. In a group of six patients, administration of the concentrate reduced the Lactobacillus acidophilus count from 323,000 to 15,000. In one individual, the combination of cod liver oil and Activator X concentrate reduced the L. acidophilus count from 680,000 to 0.
In the 1940s, researchers showed that menadione and related compounds inhibited the bacterial production of acids in isolated saliva.47 Menadione itself is a toxic synthetic analogue of vitamin K, but animal tissues are able to convert a portion of it to vitamin K2. The ability of vitamin K-related compounds to inhibit acid production in isolated saliva had no relationship to their vitamin activity, and the most effective of these compounds had practically no vitamin activity at all.48 Researchers unfortunately assumed that because vitamin K did not have a unique role in inhibiting acid formation in saliva within a test tube that it had no nutritional role in preventing tooth decay within living beings.
In 1945, American researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of menadione-laced chewing gum and showed it to reduce the incidence of new cavities and cause a dramatic drop in the L. acidophilus count of saliva.49 The next year, the Army Medical Department attempted to repeat these results but failed, and research on vitamin K and dental health in the United States was subsequently abandoned.50 The authors of the original study assumed that the menadione exerted its effect simply as a topical anti-bacterial agent, even though it was highly unlikely to sustain a sufficient concentration in the saliva to exert this effect. Ten years later, German researchers showed that injecting menadione into the abdominal cavities of hamsters more effectively prevented tooth decay than feeding it orally.51 Although they could not rule out the possibility that some of this menadione was secreted into the saliva, their results argued in favor of a nutritional role for the vitamin K2 that would have been produced from it. Despite this finding, to this day no one has investigated the role of natural K vitamins in the prevention of dental caries.
Nevertheless, our continually expanding understanding of the physiology of both K vitamins and teeth now makes it clear that vitamin K2 plays an essential role in dental health. Of all organs in the body, vitamin K2 exists in the second highest concentration in the salivary glands (the highest concentration is found in the pancreas). Even when rats are fed only K1, nearly all of the vitamin K in their salivary glands exists as K2.15 Both vitamin K52 and vitamin K-dependent proteins53 are secreted into the saliva, although their function is unknown.
We now know that the growth and mineralization of the dentin that Price observed in response to the combination of cod liver oil and Activator X concentrate would primarily require three essential factors: vitamins A, D, and K2. There are three calcified tissues of the teeth: the cementum forms the roots, the enamel forms the surface, and the dentin forms the support structure beneath it. Cells called odontoblasts lining the surface of the pulp just beneath the dentin continually produce new dentin material. If a cavity invades the dentin and reaches these cells they can die. The pulp tissue, however, contains stem cells that can differentiate into new odontoblasts that could regenerate the lost dentin if the right conditions were present.54
Dentin is unique among the tissues of the teeth for its expression of osteocalcin, a vitamin K-dependent protein better known for its role in organizing the deposition of calcium and phosphorus salts in bone. In the infant rat, whose teeth grow very rapidly, dentin manufactures much more osteocalcin than bone does, suggesting that osteocalcin plays an important role in the growth of new dentin. Matrix Gla protein (MGP), which is required for the mineralization of bone, is also expressed in dentin.55 Vitamins A and D signal odontoblasts to produce osteocalcin,56,57 and probably regulate their expression of MGP as well. Only after vitamin K2 activates these proteins' ability to bind calcium, however, can they lay down the mineral-rich matrix of dentin. The remarkable synergy between these three vitamins exactly mirrors the process Price observed.