Steven Lin: Episode 024 – The Dental Diet

Dr. Steven Lin is a board-registered dentist, writer and speaker, with works published in The Sydney Morning Herald and The British Dental Journal, and has also written for MindBodyGreen and given talks as part of the TED X program. Trained at the University of Sydney with a background in biomedical science, he’s a passionate whole health advocate focusing on the link between nutrition and dental health. His mission is to prevent dental diseases instead of treating them.

After looking in peoples' mouths and seeing a lot of really chronic diseases but not knowing what was causing them, he began investigating connections to nutrition. Dentistry should communicate how to eat for healthy teeth, which connects to the whole body.

Your dental health is a good indication of your health in general. You need to mechanically chew food, (e.g. not processed food), especially for children, because it helps you learn to breathe right and to develop healthy muscles. Nutritionally, we need to eat foods with core minerals for human development that help build bone—Vitamin D, A, K2. All of these vitamins are fat soluble so they need to be taken or consumed with natural whole fats for absorption.

We know sugar causes tooth decay, but we also know sugar and fructose cause Type II diabetes or complications with the liver that slowly kill you over a lifetime, so that’s an example of how your dental health is indicative of your overall health.

Due to advancements in cosmetic dentistry, we have tended to ignore the overall scope of dental health. Brushing and flossing alone don’t cut it.

Between the hours of 11am-2pm during the winter are really the only hours you can get sufficient rays of light that convert to Vitamin D. The richest form of Vitamin D and A and other fatty acids is through cod-liver oil—that’s one of the most complete diet supplements you can have. Pasture-raised eggs or grass-fed butter/dairy are good sources for Vitamin K2. Emu oil is also great.

Grain today, for example, has been created from unnatural things which is different than grains from a couple hundred years ago at the Industrial Revolution. Crooked teeth and tooth decay has only been around on the fossil record for 200-300 years from when we changed our food, which is in the scope of 2 million years, so we’ve really dramatically changed our health from what we eat.

Wisdom teeth are viewed as a coming-of-age thing but the idea that we’re removing wisdom teeth for evolution makes no sense because when our jaws don’t develop right, our airways don’t develop right, and that’s a sign that we’re not feeding ourselves the right things.

Digestion, autoimmune issues, and much of the biological system are all connected to issues that start with the mouth. Bleeding gums, for example, is a sign that your digestive health is imbalanced.

Visit to sign up for Dr. Lin's email series, and to learn more about his book, The Dental Diet.