Natural Remedies for Peridontal Disease
SYMPTOMS OF PERIDONTAL DISEASE
Symptoms of periodontal disease include red, swollen and receding gums, loose teeth and bad breath. Risk factors include certain illnesses (such as diabetes), older age and smoking. If you have periodontal disease, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist (a dentist who specialises in treating this condition). Without proper treatment, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss.
PREVENTING PERIDONTAL DISEASE
- Brush twice daily (and replace your toothbrushes every 1 – 3 months).
- Floss daily
- Eat a well-balanced diet and limit between meal snacks.
- Visit your dentist regularly for teeth cleaning and oral examinations.
- Quit smoking (it is a major risk factor for gum disease). 2
Peridontal disease can also be a manifestation of more serious diseases. Make sure you visit your Dr to rule out (and treat) – diabetes, anemia, leukemia (or other diseases of white blood cell function) 1 and heart disease. 2
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR PERIDONTAL DISEASE
It is always advisable to consult a qualified natural health practitioner before using supplements. Your practitioner will ensure that the supplements you are taking are indicated for you and that they will not interact negatively with any medications you are taking. The supplements that I have referred to here are practitioner only (and need to be prescribed by a qualified practitioner).
Nutrients that may be prescribed for periodontal disease include:
Vitamin C is important in maintaining the integrity of the periodontal membrane and the collagen matrix (which anchors the tooth to the bone). 1
Vitamin A deficiency can predispose an individual to periodontal disease. It is needed for wound healing, collagen synthesis, and for immune function. 1
Zinc is very important in the treatment of periodontal disease and works synergistically with vitamin A. It can help to inhibit plaque growth when used in a mouth wash (twice daily). 1
VITAMIN E and SELENIUM
These nutrients work together and may help to prevent periodontal disease by counteracting the effects of free radicals (which are very damaging to gums). 1
These phytonutrients are essential for the treatment of periodontal disease. Flavonoids are effective in reducing inflammation and in stabilising collagen structures. 1
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is also an effective antioxidant that is commonly used in Japan to treat periodontal disease. There have been numerous clinical studies using CoQ10 to treat periodontal disease, and the results have shown significant positive results. 1 CoQ10 may also help with heart-related conditions, because it can act as an antioxidant, improve energy production in cells and prevent blood clot formation. 4
You should only take iron if you have low iron levels on blood test. Iron is used to treat anaemia and is needed for tissue repair. Low iron and vitamin C can cause bleeding gums.
CALCIUM (plus vitamin D and other cofactors)
- play an essential role in the development of bone, tissue and teeth.
- support bone strength, preservation and remodeling.
- Support the health of ligaments and cartilage and are essential for the development of connective tissue and the production of collagen 5
Menopause and oestrogen deficieny are risk factors for bone loss 2 and women’s calcium requirements increase after menopause. 5
Certain illnesses, medications, menopause and increasing age can lead to dry mouth and this can cause tooth and gum problems. 2 TMG can be added to toothpaste to help prevent dry mouth. One study trialled the use of TMG in toothpaste for the treatment of dry mouth. After two weeks of treatment 60% of the subjects using the TMG reported a decrease in dry mouth symptoms. No changes were seen in the placebo group.
Sodium lauryl-sulphate is a chemical that is commonly used in toothpaste and it has been shown to cause irritation to the oral mucosa in some people. TMG may help to reduce irritation caused by this chemical. Therefore TMG may be helpful for those who suffer from dry mouth and for those who react to sodium lauryl-sulphate. 4
Can help to reduce stress and can promote energy production. Psychological stress can cause the body to release inflammatory hormones that may trigger or worsen periodontal disease. 2
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
- ELIMINATE SUGAR FROM THE DIET
- Eat a high protein and low GI diet (with carbohydrates coming mostly from vegetables) . Consider a paleo or ketogenic diet (if weight loss is desired).
- No refined sugar or processed foods.
- No grains for 4 weeks and then reassess (consider adding quinoa and brown rice when symptoms have improved).
- No fruit for 4 weeks and then reassess (vitamin C needs can be met by vegetables and Repairase supplementation).
- No legumes (for four weeks and then reassess).
- Ideally no dairy – to avoid lactose, which is a sugar (cheese and yoghurt may be needed to meet protein requirements for individuals on a strict vegetarian diet).
- Include bone broths in your diet – see my chicken broth recipe here
- Avoid snacking between meals.
- Exercise regularly
- Get a good nights sleep
Have a look at Naturopath Joanna Sochan’s excellent blog for more information about nutrition for oral health too.
- Furness S, Worthington HV, Bryan G, Birchenough S, McMillan R. Interventions for the management of dry mouth: topical therapies. Cochrane Database System Rev. 2011 Dec 7;(12)
- BioMedica, Bio Activated Calcium Product sheet.
With love, light and appreciation
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