Thursday, February 6, 2014

Toddler tooth decay

Feeling pretty frustrated right now... For the last year, we have been in an uphill battle to figure out the pieces of the puzzle Little Miss is missing so we can remineralization her teeth.

It is possible. I have seen success! I just wonder if their is something else I am missing...

Around March 2013 we began to see changes in Little Miss' upper front teeth. Changes that went from questionable to bad, quick. We made an appt with a dentist in May, but before then I did some research on healing tooth decay naturally. If bones can heal, why not teeth? It was then I was introduced to Weston A. Price's work and immediately purchased Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil gel. Thankfully, Little Miss loves her "chocolate"! Even asks for it! The dentist blamed our daily consumption of almond milk for the decay (reflecting on it now, I realize that it probably did contribute since phytic acid is a tooth killer since it inhibits nutrient absorption). Then she referred us to a pediatric dentist. 

In August we went to the pediatric dentist. Dr. Jason Spareti was amazing! Between May and August though, I spent a bazillion hours reading every single study/article/blog I could find on toddler tooth decay. The tears I have shed are countless. He was very open to my non convential way and remarked that the decay has halted. Yay! He agreed to a wait and see approach I wanted versus his hospital operation to consist of two crowns and four caps under general anesthesia. For baby teeth?!?! 

He did comment that it appears, with her decay pattern, that the lip tie is the main culprit and the one year molars were not protected from the way her tounge fell when sleeping. Not once did he blame her continued breastfeeding and in my heart of hearts I know her teeth would be a lot worse if she was not breastfed for as long as she has been. She has a gluten intolerance we did not know about and she did not really start relying on solids for her nutrients until about 18 months though still nursing, so that helped her intestines more. We don't know if she has celiac disease nor do I care for the title so we will not put her through testing and am treating her as if she does just in case. Maybe when she is older we will test.

Mommy instinct kicked into high gear! We went gluten free first and then paleo and even more so by eliminating nuts and limiting fruit to once a day. In observation, I noticed when we are certain foods she would chew on her fingers more. I had people tell me it is normal while my gut knew she was having discomfort from her teeth. I learned that glycerin inhibits remineralization because it leaves a coating on the teeth so the saliva cannot get to them to distribute nutrients. We rarely snack between meals to give her saliva ample opportunity to remineralize. We coax her to drink as much raw cows milk and eat raw cows milk cheese as she will tolerate. I encourage chewing of hard foods like carrots to exercise her jaw to ensure closed mouth breathing especially during sleep. We eat grass fed beef regularly, eggs every morning for breakfast, and grass fed butter by the block! Bone broth. Every bit of good fats I can get in her possible!

She's a trooper in taking the many supplements....
Fermented cod liver oil/butter oil, chocolate gel
Calcium/phosorophus/zinc/magnesium liquid
Living streams alfalfa probiotic
Living streams bifido
Cell salts #1, 2, 8, 12
Vitamin d3
Papaya enzyme
Black walnut (6 weeks on, 6 weeks off)

And for daily teeth maintainence... 
AM brush with Earthpaste
PM brush with coconut oil, Christopher's tooth powder first
Next, brush with coconut oil and pascalite clay
Every other day, paint iodine on decay then brush

All that and we have new tooth growth between her healthy gums and decay line! And, unless I give in to a sweet treat, fingers are no longer in her mouth! She is even fully acting on her role as a dog these days and carrying heavy items with her teeth! Surely if her teeth hurt or were weak she wouldn't be doing this... The gluten intolerance symptoms have subsided too! She rarely complains about her tummy hurting and when she does, I can often link it to cross contamination with gluten. 

All of the effort is worth it to heal her body. Even if we did the surgery, unless we get to the root of the cause it would be back. So many stories of baby teeth with caps/crowns falling off and needing additional work. Our goal is to keep her pain free and pray these teeth fall out early! :-) I think I will cry crocodile tears of relief when they fall out while she is crying from the experience of loosing her teeth! 

I am obsessed with her health. I believe her tooth decay is an outward sign of an inward health concern so by healing the inside, the outside will heal. Oh how that applies to so many ailments....different blog post.

The looks I feel like I get by those I don't know or have chosen not to share this journey with absolutely kill me. Like I am neglecting her oral health. If only they knew the obsession I had in healing her. The hundreds, quickly approaching thousands of dollars we have spent in supplements to heal her. I have to force myself to look her in her beautiful blue eyes instead of analyzing her teeth every smiling chance I can. I have even observed her doing a smirk smile and I can't help but wonder if it is because of me.... Her radiant smile may not be "perfect" to others, but to me her smile tells her story. 

Early childhood caries, bottle rot, toddler tooth decay....whatever you want to call it, it has a unique passionate story behind that perfectly imperfect smile. Get to know it. Something is happening with this generation as the rate of occurrence is ridiculously high! So many theories as to why and yet the best protocol of treatment is one curtailed to the individual for upmost healing.


Brandy and Dennis said...

We eat lot's of healthy protein and a variety of fruits and veggies, avoid processed sugar, drink raw milk and use an all natural homemade tooth powder! I also teach the big kids to floss and do my best to floss the toddlers regularly. Oil pulling is great too, but I've yet to figure out how to get the kids to do it...

t and L said...

I am navigating this with my toddler right now. So interesting what you mention about the tongue not falling into place because of the upper lip tie. I think this is exactly why my toddler's one-yr molars on top are the way they are. How are your child's teeth these days? I can scour your blog to see if you gave an update. No need to publish this comment, BTW, I just need to reach out to someone as this is all such an emotional roller coaster!

The Swann's said...

I apologize for an incredibly late response! I hate to hear you are battling this journey as well. My daughter's teeth are healthy and strong! Through the years of teeth healing, we had one molar filled and the rest of her teeth held strong at halted. She has since lost four baby teeth, two with decay. Her new permanent teeth are absolutely beautiful! When the baby teeth came out, I thoroughly inspected them and the decay did not go as deep as originally suspected. We feel very confident we made the right decision in regards to her oral health and she's thriving! May you be at peace with whatever decision you make.