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 native peoples on their traditional diets, rich in essential food factors.
When Dr. Price analyzed the foods used by isolated indigenous 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.
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 indigenous people 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 indigenous people 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 natives 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.
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 indigenous 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 indigenous diets compared with modernized diets.)
|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|
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 Indigenous and Modernized Groups
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
Alan Santana says
Dr. Weston A. Price is great. He is my hero.
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!
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.
Fátima Denis says
“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.
Elizabeth Gay says
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
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.
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.
I live in Orlando. What is your herb store and did you find a good holistic dentist?
I only hope someday all people from everywhere can access to good dental health.
Lisa Heffler says
I desperately want to have my amalgam fillings removed (I have 12), but have checked the price with several holistic biologic dentists and it’s in the tens of thousands of dollars range. I don’t have that kind of money. Are there any biologic dentists that are not so expensive? I know I won’t completely heal from much of anything until I get them removed, but I feel hopeless.
Jessica M. says
Call around to local or state dental colleges/schools. Tell them your amalgam fillings are old and breaking down (that’s a sure-fire way to get them removed, and actually, the shelf life of amalgam fillings is only 5-10 years- they NEED to be removed, even just for structural reasons- your tooth could crack). Schools of dentistry all across the country need patients for the prospective dental students to work on, and it is VERY cheap, you just pay a minimal amount up front, but pay for it in time– it takes them a lot longer to do the work since they’re students (I’m a dental hygienist, so I know that dental schools need the public as patients to practice on.).. it may not be holistic but at least they’ll get the amalgams out.
I used to work at a top dental school. Just be forewarned that dental students are not as experienced, and make more mistakes.
Dont Worry says
Do not do this. You need someone knowledgeable about removal or else you will probably end up with shards of mercury in your organs and have an autoimmune disease shortly after, and have no clue why. This is not a matter to be taken lightly.
I know this is an old comment but have you checked with your dental insurance on covering some of the cost? My dental insurance covers holistic dentistry at 80% which is better than I thought at first. Something to think about, also, you don’t need to get them all taken out at one time, do it over time.
Sergio Catalán says
Absolutely amazing book. So revolutionary point of view almost one hundred years ago. It’s a must if you’re interested in evolutionary nutrition.
Jose M. says
With all the variety of diets it is very difficult to choose the right one.
The Glyphosate in Roundup ready herbicide and GMO crops in
75% to 80% of American food is, as the Monsanto researchers knew since 1975, is causing widespread chronic illnesses. How can we eat healthy meals when with every bite of beef, poultry, fish and all dairy products we are putting toxic poison in our bodies. Our food supply is contaminated.
Brenda Holligan says
I would not recommend having your amalgams out by the dental hospital as its very very important that your dentist knows what he or she is doing and they don’t in dental hospitals – I have been there many times when I was younger. I had all mine removed in 2005 by a brilliant dentist here in Australia (very holistic). Its very important to have the use of the Dam – also I had very large doses of Vitamin C after having them out – also I did detox baths along with vitamin C flushes to get it out of my digestive tract – I have since had my tests done and no mercury came up – I would recommend finding the right holistic dentist and seeing about paying the cost over a period of time (what you can afford) – good luck
Would you mind sharing whom is your holistic dentist? Where are you based. I am after a good dentist in Central West NSW or Sydney.
How did your Dr test for Mercury in you system?
I was wondering if anyone knew the answer to a specific question. I have 2 baby teeth that never fell out. There are no adult teeth to push them out. One had a gigantic cavity and about a quarter of the tooth fell out. I was told that over time the enamel was bound to deteriorate and that the teeth were going to have to be replaced with implants. Is it possible for an old baby tooth with a chunk missing to heal? The tooth is very cold sensitive and a little cold triggers terrible pain that lasts at least 15 minutes. The last time I had dental surgery (on my wisdom teeth) the site became infected and spread to my lungs leading to pneumonia. I really don’t want dental surgery again.
K Kelly says
I believe the baby tooth will not heal. The decay destroys the tooth and the tooth structure will not regenerate. Find a good doctor and explain you had a bad infection when you had your wisdom teeth done that led to pneumonia. If you are not opposed to prophylactic treatment with antibiotics infection may be prevented. Not addressing the tooth will only cause you more trouble. Good luck.
David Zimmerman says
I am appalled at the remarkably inept comments made against W/Price. My research shows that following the increase in production of sugar in particular but also cigarettes and alcohol, in the 19th Century, there followed a rise in type 2 diabetes. These are not just flukes – they are real health costs. By 1900 the rate of cardiac mortality put it and it remains so, top USA killer.
French and other teams have shown that embryonic exposure to these around week 3 induces HOX genes that interfere with neural crest cell growth directives for the midface. That is nose and top jaw. Impairment of the ‘breathing’ aspects of the face lead on to increased intermittent hypoxia – that is ‘dipping’ during sleep in particular that is higher than the blood can adapt to and in turn creates a cascade of inflammatory chemicals. Three year old snorers show these elevated levels in exhaled breath. These are non-obese children. Equally Kherandish-Gozal published in May 2018 that an MRI study of juvenile snorers brains showed a similar pattern of damage and white matter change to adults with dementia. Given that at least in Australia dementia is now the second leading cause of non-accidental death this is an alarm bell. I noted a lot of adverse commentary on websites- some from professionals but that now does not surprise me in the slightest. Price and Pottenger were pioneers and there basic findings are now well supported by the solid work of many. The nay-sayers sadly remain banging on their hollow heads and making loud noises.
The second outcome of midface impairment is the lower jaw becomes trapped inside the upper and held back. This also increases the prospect of the tongue intruding into the upper pharynx and impairing the upper airway, but it also places the condyles (balls) of the jaw joint further back and squashing the vascular bed of the joint. This tissue is highly innervated with the same nerves as on the Sclera (white ) of the eye. Compression of either sclera or vascular bed results in a storm or as Prof Barry Sessle calls it ‘barrage’ of pain signals overwhelming the pain system. Thus the dietary changes reported in 1945 are now clearly shown to be underscoring most of human pathology. There are few health issues exempt. diabetes; hypertension; arterial change; ovarian cysts; induction of cancer; probably dementia; postural change secondary to the head-tilt required to keep the airway open. This includes low back pain. The naivety of dentists and doctors in overlooking this may best be shown in Dr James Molds’s team review of 180 primary care clinicians. Mold reviewed records and estimated that 90% of patients seen daily attend due to a sleep related issue yet few sleep problems were noted and fewer discussed.
Aidan Hauser says
I believe that the cause of underdeveloped faces and sleep disordered breathing, which I agree with you is a horrible and debilitating condition, (I myself had sleep apnea in high school, and my grades, and athletic performance tanked as a result, and I considered suicide) is the modern diets relative softness to the paleolithic mans diet, poor oral posture, bad orthodontic treatments, and poor eating and nursing habits. For millions of years, our ancestors had chewed rough foods with few calories, chewing through the teeth down the roots in some cases. 10,000 years ago, after humans had entered the neolithic and invented agriculture, the diet changed drastically. Calorie dense soft foods replaced calorie sparse hard foods, and as a result the amount of chewing was reduced. Many kids today breath out of their mouths, and mouth breathing in monkeys had been linked to narrow palates, crooked teeth, and set back jaws. A lot of culture is the propagation of successful ideas, and as a result sitting up straight and proper posture, especially at meal time, have been part of cultures. If you swallow incorrectly, your tongue won’t push up against the palate, atrophying the tongue and encourging improper tongue postures. The tongue pushes the maxilla forward, without the force, it drops back. Breast feeding also encourages this position. Orthodontics ignores the underlying cause of crooked teeth, and often pulls the maxilla back with rubber bands and headgear. I don’t doubt that chemicals due interfere with our childrens health, but I think this sleep epidemic is caused by these causes. I highly recommend you watch these videos.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnOtQDVAP7I The authors of Jaws the hidden epidemic talk about why modern jaws are so much smaller due to diet and poor posture
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbzT00Cyq-g How the tongue changes the face, by a very good youtuber who does topics on various aspects of health
I couldn’t find the research that shows how chemicals are causing this crisis. I think that a lack of nutrients, as was proposed by weston price, causing narrow set back jaws is very unlikely considering all of the supplements kids take. And how much meat kids eat too! But I can see chemicals causing changes, but I don’t think this sleep breathing epidemic is caused by chemicals, the main cause I believe is soft diet, and poor oral posture.
I couldn’t find any research about chemicals affecting the face, I would be interested if you could send me some links!
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.-socrates
Norine Cave says
I hope soon there will be discussions on veneers, as there is a whole pending generation of veneer patients. Unfortunately,while finding a dentist to remove silver in back molars, I was lied to during an examination and told their was a separate finding of decay behind the veneers of my two front teeth that necessitated crown placements. After the unnecessary and botched treatment…and Tmjd and 6 years of litigating…I am left with chronic pain and suffering over a lie by a greedy dentist and corporation.