I was offered an interesting article today and did my usual critical thinking thing, and tried to find other write-ups. Sure enough lots and lots of headlines, here’s a typical example:
How to Reverse Cavities and Heal Tooth Decay Through Diet
One misconception many people have regarding cavities is that they cannot be healed or reversed. Modern medicine would have one believe that the only way to fix a cavity is to fill the space with man-made material.
A study in the British Medical Journal begs to differ..
The study states that cavities and tooth decay can be reversed and even healed with simple dietary changes.
62 children with cavities were involved in the study. They were divided into three groups based on their various diets. ...
The British Medical Journal article can be found at
“The Influence of a Cereal-Free Diet Rich in Vitamin D and Calcium on Dental Caries in Children.”
Mellanby and Pattison, MB, BS - March 19, 1932 - British Medical Journal
Besides being rather dated, (it was pointed out to me that old studies aren’t necessarily bad studies) and from what I could tell, it seemed a reasonable enough study, which didn’t seem to claim what today’s articles are implying.
“The chief problem with which we were concerned - namely, the possibility of retarding or arresting dental caries by dietetic measures - was now solved.”
In the summary
“Initiation and spread of caries…”
“Active caries was arrested…”
Nowhere was healing or reversing caries mentioned. So now I have this sweet wonderful person who has shared this with me because they know I’m a sciencie kinda guy. On the internet I don’t mind getting into people’s faces and calling them on nonsense - in real life, with real people, often people I care for, people that embrace these good tidings with innocent faith. I’m in a total dilemma. Hurt feelings, disappointment, resentment, taken off the share-list - but worst is that describing the process of critical thinking and fact checking, tends to elicit a defense jerk reflex against the sober science and a deeper embrace of woo.
Now regarding this particular incident, the articles are all fairly simple and the advice they offer is excellent advice for tooth care, so it’s not like direct damage can be done (i guess), they just exaggerate a few things.
Actually I started this because “Oil Pulling” was mentioned a lot and I’d never heard of it.
Seems it’s gargling, guess that’s not possible, swishing oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes first thing in the morning.
Besides the fact that it seems to me a pretty near impossible feat of yuck endurance, I’m not convince that much toxins can get pulled out of the inside of my mouth. But then what do I know?
Anyone here familiar with “Oil Pulling”? Ever try it? I’d say it’s not quite at the “Dare you to drink your pee” extreme, but definitely in that direction.
Can anyone explain the mechanism behind this health miracle?