Talking tooth care

Oregon-based writer and dental-health advocate Ramiel Nagel to speak in Chico

Dental-health advocate Ramiel Nagel, author of <i>Cure Tooth Decay</i>.

Dental-health advocate Ramiel Nagel, author of Cure Tooth Decay.


Hear Nagel speak:
Ashland, Ore.-based author and dental-health advocate Ramiel Nagel will speak at 6 p.m. April 10 at Matthew's Cafe (1600 Mangrove Ave., Suite 175). Free and open to the public. Seating is limited; head to to sign up.

In these times of rising health-care costs coupled with a still-rocky economy, it makes sense that people are looking for ways to maintain their health so as to avoid financial catastrophe as a result of unforeseen medical expenses. The area of dental-health care is no exception.

Oregon-based writer and dental-health advocate Ramiel Nagel wrote a book called Cure Tooth Decay partially in response to this need. Nagel’s writings have been featured in alternative-health-care websites and publications such as and the Townsend Letter. On the seeming other end of the spectrum, his book was featured in a 2010 article titled “Four Ways to Save Money on Dental Work.” (Head to to check it out.)

“Changing your eating habits could help prevent tooth decay and keep your mouth healthier,” the article reads. “Nagel also suggested adding two teaspoons of cod liver oil to your diet, saying it reduces tooth decay by at least 40 percent by adding vitamins that aren’t in most diets.” It went on to quote Nagel on the importance of avoiding foods containing high-fructose corn syrup and bleached white flour whenever possible.

Nagel also speaks out against the toxicity of both mercury and plastic composite fillings. One of the most concerning composite-filling ingredients is Bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to breast cancer, autism and other health problems.

Nagel will be in Chico on Apr. 10 to lecture on the importance of a nutrient-dense diet as a means to help avoid trips to the dentist. He is being brought to town by the local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

A dentist is technically “a doctor of dental surgery,” said Nagel recently by phone from his home in Ashland. “Dentists have years of training to drill and fill teeth. A conventional dentist has been trained to use the skill of surgery to treat the problem of tooth decay. … Most people hate to go to the dentist—they hate the procedures.”

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Nagel’s approach to tooth care aims to avoid such surgery—fillings, root canals and so forth—as much as possible through preventative care focused on nutrition. Backed by the research of the late Dr. Weston A. Price—a dentist who, in the early 1900s, founded the research arm of the National Dental Association, precursor to the American Dental Association—Nagel advocates a diet that includes cod-liver oil, oily fish, butter and fresh milk from grass-fed animals, and lacks in such highly processed items as white sugar and white flour.

According to the California Dental Association, tooth decay is the No. 1 chronic health problem for children. A recent New York Times article reported an alarming rise in the number of preschoolers with severe tooth decay.

Nagel notes that the rise in the dental-cavities rate coincides with the increasingly talked-about decline of overall nutrition, due to the prevalence of fast food, factory-farmed foods and other nutrient-depleted foods in the diet of today’s average American. It’s no secret that school-lunch programs across the country have been under increasing scrutiny for the lack of nutrient-dense foods often served routinely.

“We don’t get enough vitamins and minerals in our diets today,” said Nagel. Fat-soluble vitamin D, important for healthy bones and teeth, is particularly lacking in today’s average diet, he said. According to the National Institutes of Health, “The flesh of fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna and mackerel) and fish liver oils are among the best sources” of vitamin D. Beef liver, cheese and egg yolks are also sources of naturally occurring vitamin D.

Longtime Sunnyvale dentist Dr. Timothy Gallagher, past president of the Holistic Dental Association, writes in his foreword to Nagel’s book, “Your diet is key to creating a healthy mouth. There is no other way about it. This is the key issue, and the central theme of Cure Tooth Decay. … When you don’t have a good diet, your body’s ability to repair and maintain healthy teeth and gums is severely limited. … If you learn one thing from this book, it should be that eating too much processed sugar and flour products upsets the entire hormone system. This not only sets you up for tooth decay or gum disease, but makes your entire body overly acidic. In the acidic state, harmful bacteria and fungi can thrive.”

Local health and nutrient-dense-food activist Carol Chaffin Albrecht, co-owner of Chaffin Family Orchards in Oroville, and co-leader of the local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation, is excited about Nagel’s upcoming visit.

In addition to drawing upon Price’s “early studies … demonstrating the remineralization of teeth in schoolchildren due to dietary changes, Ramiel also uses the research of [late 20th –century dentist] Dr. Melvin Page who attributed blood sugar levels to a disturbance of calcium and phosphorus in the blood, causing the teeth to lose minerals and consequently decay,” Chaffin Albrecht said.

“Ramiel’s book is incredibly well-referenced. There are pages of references at the end of each chapter, many citing articles in prominent medical journals.”