Expaaander!

Expander 04-15-2013b

History repeats itself…deja vu.  That’s how I felt as I watched my son get an expander installed in his mouth this week.  I’d had one at his age.  I had so wished for him to NOT experience dental issues.  But alas, he has my genes.

All of my readings and research point to celiac disease as the ultimate culprit.

Dr. Weston Price determined that the v-shaped palate and crowded teeth he saw in people were due to nutritional deficiencies resulting from the adoption of western diet.  He observed that people in traditional cultures had wide faces with arch-shaped palates and room for all their teeth (including wisdom teeth!) until they started eating the white flour and sugar-rich industrial foods, displacing their traditional nutrient-dense diets.  The changes were radical and happened within a single generation.  See his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.  It’s worth the read.

While he was not able to reverse the structural defects of misshapen jaws and palates, he was able to heal cavities through nutrition therapy.  The process included adding fermented cod liver oil / high vitamin butter oil, eliminating white flour and sugar, and emphasizing meats, vegetables and raw dairy in the diet.  He showed that dental health was reflective of overall health and fully dependent upon proper nutrition.  [This used to be considered “common sense” in agrarian societies, as demonstrated by every farmer that checked an animals teeth before making decisions about it’s future.]  Alex had cavities when he was younger, and I tried to emulate this healing protocol for him.  It worked.  His teeth are now cavity-free, whiter and stronger than before.  Not perfect, but great progress.

I discovered I am celiac about a year ago, after reading the passage in Robb Wolf’s book about the connection between celiac and gallstones.  Celiac is an autoimmune disease that results in damaged intestinal lining – which leads to nutrient absorption issues.  In other words, we cannot access the minerals we need to build strong, healthy jaws and teeth – even if we are consuming them.  My son has suffered many of the same manifestations I did as a child: cavities, crowded permanent teeth (our baby teeth were perfectly aligned, albeit with cavities), muscular weakness, digestive issues, sleep issues, etc…the list goes on.

Since going Paleo about a year and a half ago, we have both experienced dramatic improvements in all of these categories.  We are especially diligent about eating gluten-free, knowing that at best he is very gluten intolerant – and celiac at worst.  I know that I am celiac, so am ultra-vigilant and making a concerted effort to education Alex so he can make good decisions for himself as he grows.  We look forward to continued progress as we utilize modern technology to undo the damage already done.

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