Natural Remedies for Periodontal Disease

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In the quest for optimal oral health, the role of nutritional medicine is vital. Here we explore the intricate relationship between nutrition and periodontal disease, underscoring the significance of preventive strategies, natural remedies, and lifestyle modifications. Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to the development and progression of gum disease. Supplementing with certain nutrients can help support gum health and aid in the treatment of periodontal disease. Note: It is essential to consult a qualified health practitioner before starting any supplementation regimen. They will ensure that the supplements are indicated for you and will not interact negatively with any medications you may be taking. Here are some key nutrients that may be indicated in the treatment of periodontal disease: Vitamin C Vitamin C is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the periodontal membrane and the collagen matrix that anchors the tooth to the bone. It is also a potent antioxidant that helps protect gum tissues from damage caused by free radicals. Consult a qualified natural health practitioner to determine the appropriate dosage of vitamin C for your specific needs. Foods high in vitamin C:  Citrus fruits: Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Kiwi fruit Papaya Pineapple Mango Guava Bell peppers: Red, green, and yellow peppers. Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard. Broccoli Tomatoes Brussels sprouts Vitamin A Vitamin A deficiency can make individuals more susceptible to periodontal disease. This vitamin is essential for wound healing, collagen synthesis, and immune function. Adequate levels of vitamin A support the health and integrity of gum tissues. Work with a qualified practitioner to determine the right dosage of vitamin A for your situation. Foods high in vitamin A:  Sweet potatoes Carrots Spinach Kale Swiss chard Squash (butternut, acorn, and winter squash) Romaine lettuce Red bell peppers Apricots Mangoes Cantaloupe Liver (beef, pork, or chicken) Zinc Zinc plays a vital role in the treatment of periodontal disease. It works synergistically with vitamin A and may help to inhibit plaque growth. Consult with a qualified practitioner to determine the appropriate form and dosage of zinc supplementation for your needs. Foods high in zinc:  Oysters Beef Lamb Pumpkin seeds Sesame seeds Chickpeas Lentils Spinach Cashews Quinoa Mushrooms Yogurt or kefir Dark chocolate Vitamin E and Selenium Vitamin E and selenium are powerful antioxidants that can help prevent periodontal disease by counteracting the damaging effects of free radicals on gum tissues. These nutrients work together to reduce inflammation and stabilize collagen structures in the gums. Talk to a qualified dietitian or natural health practitioner to determine the right dosage of vitamin E and selenium for your individual requirements. Foods high in vitamin E:  Almonds Sunflower seeds Spinach Swiss chard Avocado Wheat germ Olive oil Hazelnuts Peanut butter Broccoli Kiwi fruit Foods high in selenium: Brazil nuts Fish (tuna, halibut, sardines) Shellfish (oysters, mussels, shrimp) Sunflower seeds Eggs Chicken Beef Turkey Mushrooms (button, crimini, shiitake) Flavonoids Flavonoids, found in various fruits and vegetables, have been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and stabilizing collagen structures in the gums. These phytonutrients play a significant role in the treatment of periodontal disease. Incorporate flavonoid-rich foods such as berries, citrus fruits, and green leafy vegetables into your diet. Additionally, consult with a qualified natural health practitioner to explore flavonoid supplementation options. Coenzyme Q10 Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a powerful antioxidant that has been extensively studied for its benefits in treating periodontal disease. Clinical studies have shown significant positive results when CoQ10 is used to support gum health. This antioxidant may also have benefits for heart-related conditions due to its ability to improve energy production in cells and prevent blood clot formation. Talk to your natural health practitioner about the appropriate dosage and form of CoQ10 supplementation. Foods high in Coenzyme Q10: Organ meats (such as liver, heart, and kidney) Fatty fish (such as salmon, trout, and sardines) Beef Pork Chicken Sesame seeds Pistachio nuts Broccoli Cauliflower Iron Iron supplementation may be necessary for individuals with low iron levels detected through blood tests. Iron is essential for tissue repair, and low levels of iron, coupled with vitamin C deficiency, can contribute to bleeding gums. Work with a qualified natural health practitioner to determine the appropriate dosage and form of iron supplementation for your needs. Foods high in iron: Red meat (beef, lamb, venison) Organ meats (liver, kidney) Poultry (chicken, turkey) Seafood (oysters, clams, mussels) Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans) Calcium and Vitamin D Calcium, along with vitamin D and other cofactors, plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of bone, teeth, and connective tissues. These nutrients support bone strength, preservation, and remodeling, which are essential for maintaining healthy gums. Women, especially after menopause, may have increased calcium requirements. Consult with a qualified natural health practitioner to determine the appropriate dosage and form of calcium supplementation for your situation. Foods high in calcium: Dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt) Leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, collard greens) Tofu (made with calcium sulfate) Sardines and canned salmon (with bones) The best source of vitamin D is the sun, which is absorbed via the skin. Trimethylglycine (TMG) TMG can be beneficial for individuals experiencing dry mouth, which can contribute to tooth and gum problems. Adding TMG to toothpaste can help alleviate dry mouth symptoms. Additionally, TMG may reduce irritation caused by sodium lauryl sulfate, a chemical commonly found in toothpaste. Consult with your natural health practitioner to explore the appropriate form and dosage of TMG supplementation. B Vitamins B vitamins, particularly B6, B9 (folate), and B12, can help reduce stress and promote energy production. Psychological stress can trigger inflammatory hormones that may worsen periodontal disease. Incorporating B vitamins into your diet or exploring supplementation options with the guidance of a qualified natural health practitioner can provide additional support for periodontal health. Foods high in B vitamins: Vitamin B1 (Thiamine):
Whole grains (brown rice, oats, whole wheat) Legumes (lentils, beans, peas) Pork Nuts (almonds, pistachios) Sunflower seeds Whole grains (brown rice, oats, whole wheat) Legumes (lentils, beans, peas) Pork Nuts (almonds, pistachios) Sunflower seeds Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin):
Dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cheese) Eggs Lean meats (chicken, turkey) Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale) Mushrooms Dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cheese) Eggs Lean meats (chicken, turkey) Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale) Mushrooms Vitamin B3 (Niacin):
Poultry (chicken, turkey) Fish (tuna, salmon) Peanuts Legumes (lentils, peas) Whole grains (brown rice, barley) Poultry (chicken, turkey) Fish (tuna, salmon) Peanuts Legumes (lentils, peas) Whole grains (brown rice, barley) Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid):
Whole grains (oats, brown rice) Avocado Mushrooms Broccoli Sunflower seeds Whole grains (oats, brown rice) Avocado Mushrooms Broccoli Sunflower seeds Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine):
Poultry (chicken, turkey) Fish (salmon, tuna) Potatoes Bananas Spinach Poultry (chicken, turkey) Fish (salmon, tuna) Potatoes Bananas Spinach Vitamin B9 (Folate/Folic Acid):
Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale) Legumes (lentils, black beans) Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons) Avocado Asparagus Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale) Legumes (lentils, black beans) Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons) Avocado Asparagus Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin):
Shellfish (clams, mussels) Fish (salmon, trout) Meat (beef, liver) Dairy products (milk, cheese) Eggs Shellfish (clams, mussels) Fish (salmon, trout) Meat (beef, liver) Dairy products (milk, cheese) Eggs Read our companion article: Eat Well, Live Well: Combating Periodontal Disease Through Diet and Lifestyle Eat Well, Live Well: Combating Periodontal Disease Through Diet and Lifestyle
Q&A: Diet modification for the control of periodontal disease A dentist asked SHDC :  “ Just wondering what your thoughts are on diet modification for the control of periodontal disease? I have a patient who wants to make some changes to try and help with her condition. She is currently using a tea tree oil toothpaste and also a rinse containing tea tree oil at the moment, I spoke to her about grass-fed beef, and also to reduce her grain intake. What else do you suggest for patients?” Our answer from the SHDC team :  “Low carb is a good way to go as the body quickly converts carbs to sugars/glucose and then glycogen and then fat. So when you see food that is “fat-free”, it’s true as it usually contains sugar and carbs which will convert to fat, free of charge. As Weston A Price realized the key was quality fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,K E) as they are necessary to absorb and utilize minerals and fat-soluble vitamins and what he found was the best source of the fat-soluble vitamins was animal fats.  The next question is the balance of omega 3 (anti-inflammatory) and omega 6 (pro-inflammatory) again in animals reared naturally. eg. pasture fed and finished, free to roam etc. Nature has balanced these out beautifully in a 1:1 ratio. Grain-fed animals there is 20 times more omega 6 eg. pro-inflammatory and seed oils (canola, sunflower, safflower) are inherently unstable apart from further contributing to being pro-inflammatory. So healthy animals and healthy fats are key. Obviously, juices, carbonated drinks and sports drinks are a no-no not just for the sugar but also for the low pH (very acidic). Water is best. In addition, we have been seeing great success with “oil-pulling” which utilizes a tablespoon of coconut oil (which has anti-microbial effects), swished around in the mouth for 20 mins once or twice a day.  Some supplements can be useful too, Co Q10, selenium, zinc, vitamin D, a good multivitamin/mineral/anti-oxidant, and omega 3. But always consult an integrative doctor or naturopath to organize this properly. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Q: Can nutritional medicine alone prevent or treat periodontal disease? A: While nutritional medicine plays a significant role in supporting gum health, it is important to note it is not a standalone solution for preventing or treating periodontal disease. Nutritional interventions should be combined with proper oral hygiene practices, regular dental visits, and a holistic approach to overall health and lifestyle choices. Q: Are the supplements mentioned in the article safe to take without consulting a healthcare professional? A: No, it is always recommended to consult a qualified natural health practitioner or healthcare professional before starting any new supplements, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. They can evaluate your specific needs, consider any potential interactions, and provide personalized guidance on the appropriate dosage and duration of supplementation. Q: How long does it take to see improvements in gum health with the recommended dietary changes and supplements? A: The timeline for seeing improvements in gum health may vary depending on the severity of the condition and individual factors. Consistency is key, and it is important to follow the recommended dietary changes, supplements, and oral hygiene practices consistently over time. It is advisable to work closely with your dentist to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. Q: Can these recommendations replace professional dental treatment for periodontal disease? A: No, the recommendations provided in this article are meant to complement and support professional dental treatment for periodontal disease. It is crucial to seek the expertise of a dentist or periodontist for a comprehensive diagnosis, treatment plan, and ongoing monitoring of your periodontal health. The dietary and lifestyle changes, along with the recommended supplements, can be incorporated as part of a holistic approach to enhance the effectiveness of professional dental care. REFERENCES http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10463/9-natural-ways-to-treat-periodontal-disease.html http://umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/periodontal-disease http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/coenzyme-q10#ixzz3Gkh7vGO1 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. Thanks to Sunaina Patel from Bioconcepts and Rachel McDonald from BioMedica for their assistance in the creation of this article. An earlier version of this post originally appeared on www.evolvingmamma.com

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