Weston A. Price, DDS

Photo Copyright © Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation®, All Rights Reserved, www.ppnf.org

Dr.Weston A. Price (1870-1948), a Cleveland dentist, has been called the “Isaac Newton of Nutrition.” In his search for the causes of dental decay and physical degeneration that he observed in his dental practice, he turned from test tubes and microscopes to unstudied evidence among human beings. Dr. Price sought the factors responsible for fine teeth among the people who had them- the isolated “primitives.”

The world became his laboratory. As he traveled, his findings led him to the belief that dental caries and deformed dental arches resulting in crowded, crooked teeth and unattractive appearance were merely a sign of physical degeneration, resulting from what he had suspected-nutritional deficiencies.

Price traveled the world over in order to study isolated human groups, including sequestered villages in Switzerland, Gaelic communities in the Outer Hebrides, Eskimos and Indians of North America, Melanesian and Polynesian South Sea Islanders, African tribes, Australian Aborigines, New Zealand Maori and the Indians of South America. Wherever he went, Dr. Price found that beautiful straight teeth, freedom from decay, stalwart bodies, resistance to disease and fine characters were typical of primitives on their traditional diets, rich in essential food factors.

When Dr. Price analyzed the foods used by isolated primitive peoples he found that they provided at least four times the calcium and other minerals, and at least TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins from animal foods such as butter, fish eggs, shellfish and organ meats.

Photos Copyright © Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation®, All Rights Reserved, www.ppnf.org
The “primitive” Seminole girl (left) has a wide, handsome face with plenty of room for the dental arches. The “modernized” Seminole girl (right) born to parents who had abandoned their traditional diets, has a narrowed face, crowded teeth, and a reduced immunity to disease.

The importance of good nutrition for mothers during pregnancy has long been recognized, but Dr. Price’s investigation showed that primitives understood and practiced preconception nutritional programs for both parents. Many tribes required a period of premarital nutrition, and children were spaced to permit the mother to maintain her full health and strength, thus assuring subsequent offspring of physical excellence. Special foods were often given to pregnant and lactating women, as well as to the maturing boys and girls in preparation for future parenthood. Dr. Price found these foods to be very rich in fat soluble vitamins A and D nutrients found only in animal fats.

These primitives with their fine bodies, homogeneous reproduction, emotional stability and freedom from degenerative ills stand forth in sharp contrast to those subsisting on the impoverished foods of civilization-sugar, white flour, pasteurized milk and convenience foods filled with extenders and additives.

The photographs of Dr. Weston Price illustrate the difference in facial structure between those on native diets and those whose parents had adopted the “civilized” diets of devitalized processed foods.

The discoveries and conclusion of Dr. Price are presented in his classic volume Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. The book contains striking photographs of handsome, healthy primitives and illustrates in an unforgettable way the physical degeneration that occurs when human groups abandon nourishing traditional diets in favor of modern convenience foods.

In addition to his work on nutrition, Dr. Price conducted extensive research into the destructive effects of root canals, detailed in his two-volume work Dental Infections Oral & Systemic and Dental Infections & the Degenerative Diseases. His conclusions, ignored by the orthodox dental establishment for over 50 years, are gaining renewed acceptance as holistic practitioners are discovering that the first step to recovery from degenerative disease often involves removal of all root canals in the patient’s mouth.

The principles of holistic dentistry, based on the research of Weston Price and Francis Pottenger, are as follows:

  • Eat nutrient-dense whole foods, properly grown and prepared.
  • Avoid root canals. If you have root canals that you suspect are causing disease, have them removed by a knowledgable dentist.
  • Avoid mercury (amalgam) fillings. If you have amalgam fillings, have them removed by a holistic dentist who specializes in mercury filling replacement.
  • Orthodontics should include measures to widen the palate.
  • Extract teeth only when necessary, and then in such a way as to avoid leaving the jaw bone with cavitations, which can be focal points of infection.
Photos Copyright © Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation®, All Rights Reserved, www.ppnf.org
Good dental health begins with the diet of the parents. The Samoan boy on the left was born to parents who ate nutrient-rich native foods. The Samoan boy on the right was born to parents who had abandoned their traditional diet. He has crowded dental arches, and will be more susceptible to dental decay.

A Comparison of the Diets

(Compiled from Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price, DDS)

A comparison of primitive groups which have shown a high immunity to dental caries and freedom from degenerative processes with the diets of modernized groups who have forsaken their native diets for the foods of commerce consisting largely of white flour products, sugar, polished rice, jams, canned goods and vegetable fats resulting in loss of this immunity to dental caries and in loss of freedom from degenerative processes. (Figures give the number of times the amount of minerals and vitamins which are found in primitive diets compared with modernized diets.)

Group Minerals1 Vitamins2
Ca P Fe Mg Cu I Fat Soluble Water Soluble
Native Eskimos 5.4 5.0 1.5 7.9 1.8 49.0 10 plus large increase
Indians-far North of Canada 5.8 5.8 2.7 4.3 1.5 8.8 10 plus large increase
Swiss 3.7 2.2 3.1 2.5 * * 10 plus large increase
Gaelic- Outer Hebrides 2.1 2.3 1.0 1.3 * * 10 plus large increase
Aborigines of Australia 4.6 6.2 50.6 17.0 * * 10 plus large increase
New Zealand Maori 6.2 6.9 58.3 23.4 * * 10 plus large increase
Melanesians 5.7 6.4 22.4 26.4 * * 10 plus large increase
Polynesians 5.6 7.2 18.6 28.5 * * 10 plus large increase
Coastal Indians of Peru 6.6 5.5 5.1 13.6 * * 10 plus large increase
Andean Mountain Indians of Peru 5.0 5.5 29.3 13.3 * * 10 plus large increase
Cattle Tribes of Interior Africa 7.5 8.2 16.6 19.1 * * 10 plus large increase
Agricultural Tribes of Central Africa 3.5 4.1 16.6 5.4 * * 10 plus large increase

*Not given

1. Minerals: Ca=Calcium, P=Phosphorus , Fe=Iron, Mg=Magnesium, Cu=Copper, I=Iodine

2. Fat soluble vitamins include A,D,E,K. Water soluble vitamins include the B vitamins (folate, pantothenic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, B12) and vitamin C

Percentages of Teeth Attacked By Dental Caries in Primitive and Modernized Groups

Group Primitive Modern
Swiss 4.60 29.8
Gaelics 1.20 30.0
Eskimos 0.09 13.0
Northern Indians 0.16 21.5
Seminole Indians 4.00 40.0
Melanesians 0.38 29.0
Polynesians 0.32 21.9

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is available from Amazon.com, Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, and Radiant Life.

“We can now visualize our universe, its light, gravity and heat, its seasons, tides, and harvest, which prepare a habitation for the universe of vital forms, microscopic and majestic, which fill the oceans and the forests. We have a common denominator for universes within and around each other, our world, our food and our life have potentials so vast that we can only observe directions, not goals. We sense human achievements or ignominious race self-destruction. Every creed today vaguely seeks a utopia; all have visualized a common controlling force or deity as the most potent force in all human affairs. Yes, man’s place is most exalted when he obeys Mother Nature’s laws.”
–Weston A. Price, DDS

Sally Fallon Morell is the founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk. She is the author of the best-selling cookbook, Nourishing Traditions (with Mary G. Enig, PhD) and the Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care (with Thomas S. Cowan, MD). She is also the author of Nourishing Broth (with Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN).

14 Responses to Weston A. Price, DDS

  1. Alan Santana says:

    Dr. Weston A. Price is great. He is my hero.
    Great article.

  2. Rebecca K. Lomax says:

    Since 2001, I have shared and embraced the truth of our foods and choices for healing in large part because of Dr. Price’s research! As a behavioral biologist, what puts the patterns together more than a “walk” around the globe thus the pictures are my favorite tool. A pIcture is worth a thousand words!

  3. Susan says:

    Remember that everything starts in the mouth, is the starting point for a good or bad health. The comparison chart is very good, thanks for sharing this information and history.

  4. “A good smile is a good self-esteem”

    The importance of dentists are significant. I hope someday all people can access to good dental health.

    Great Article, Great man.

  5. Dr Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is my bible. He has been proved right in all his studies but no one wanted to listen. Now as a result of the Western Diet of refined and mineral depleted food, the physical degeneration that Dr.Price witnessed has contributed to the huge number of people diagnosed with diabetes and heart disease as well as obesity and deformed dental arches.

    I have written a brief biography of Dr.Price, see my web site: http://www.healthscams.org.uk

  6. Diane says:

    Dr. Weston Price’s website was referred to me at a herb store I frequent here in Orlando, Fl. My herb store told me about him. I will be spreading the word since I know metals are a big factor in contributing to diseases. Side note: Over the last 3 years I have had my silver fillings taken out and replaced. Unfortunately, I now do not know how well he really did the job because I got more information from the herb store that a true holistic dentist will have you do a mercury detox and diet to help cleanse the body prior and after the fillings are removed. I suggest doing as much research prior to make sure you get a good dentist.

    • Sandy says:

      You must go to a knowledgable holistic dentist. Conventional dentists don’t usually know the proper way to extract, etc. A holistic dentist (a true holistic dentist) knows that he must test everything that goes into your mouth including cement to make sure it’s compatible with your system. If it’s not, you may have serious health problems and never even suspect it’s dental.
      I suggest reading Root Canal Cover-Up by Dr. George Meinig. He was a root canal specialist for 47 years and a founding member of the American Endodontic Association.

    • Joy says:

      I live in Orlando. What is your herb store and did you find a good holistic dentist?

  7. tomadieta says:

    I only hope someday all people from everywhere can access to good dental health.

  8. Tammy says:

    I am sick with Hashimottos hypothyroidism chronic fatigue syndrome fibromyalgia and shingles in the ear I have bulging disc and pinched nerves in left should carpal tunel in both wrist. I just signed up for the yoga certification and the Holistic Nutrition Crrtification. This is the first time I have ever heard of Dr. Price. But in teemed to learn so much from him. I am going to bet this. The Drs won’t help me so I have to be my own advocate. Thank you

  9. Howard says:

    A young family member in her 40s has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, she is a health and fitness fanatic, she is adopting this type of diet to turn things around, , and because of her unbelievable discipline she will survive . I’m looking forward to sharing her progress in the coming weeks..

  10. Xiaomi mi band says:

    Remember that everything starts in the mouth, is the starting point for a good or bad health. The comparison chart is very good, thanks for sharing this information and history.

    • Rose says:

      Yes, we truly are what we eat. I was not well for about 20 years, first with gastro-intestinal issues, then with chronic sinus infections until I went gluten-free. My brother has celiac disease and I have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Unrelated, I recently had an infected tooth/root and now need to decide between traditional extraction or biological/holistic extraction.

      Has anyone had an extraction done by a biological doctor who removes the tooth ligament and some of the bone? I am fearful that it would be much more painful than traditional tooth extraction. Please respond soon because I am scheduled for a traditional extraction on October 4th, 2016. Thanks.

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© 2015 The Weston A. Price Foundation for Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts.