One of the most significant findings in this line was made by Dr. Percy R. Howe, of Forsythe Laboratories in Boston, several years ago, when he showed by the teeth of the monkeys, with which he works continually, that decay, ordinary caries, does not start at the surface of the tooth, but from the nerve pulp, a choking of the circulation emanating from the nerve to the dentine and enamel of the tooth, a gangrene or sloughing off of the tissues of the tooth resulting from this blocking of the supply line carrying nourishment.
If this decay were from uncleanliness, we would surely expect it to start where this would be in action, at the surface of the tooth, but it starts inside, and only reaches the surface, the enamel, after the supporting circulation has been choked off.
This can mean nothing less -- the cause of decay is in the materials carried by the blood stream, so makes a joke of the old slogan with regard the clean tooth. [“A clean tooth never decays.”]
To support this theory further we have those nations and tribes and races rather far removed from the devitalized foods of civilization, who know nothing about toothbrushes but whose food still retains its original chemistry.
For many years Dr. Sherman Davis, of Washington, D.C., has been telling his dental profession that caries is a deficiency condition, wholly correctible by supplying every possible deficiency in the daily intake of food, and that without this re-establishment of chemical balance there is no use in trying to preserve or restore the teeth by the most meticulous care in hygiene.
What is true of the teeth is equally true of every organ and every part of the body, all of which must have the materials necessary for growth and repair, or they degenerate, no more the teeth than the kidneys, the hair, the eyes, the skin.
(Excerpted from Dr. William Howard Hay’s, Some Human Ailments.)