A study published in the Journal of Dental Research in 2010, found that over 47 percent of adults over the age of 30 have either mild, moderate or severe periodontitis; that figure rises to over 64 percent for adults older than 65. So, what is periodontitis? Since we all have a one-in-two chance of getting it, is it something to be concerned about? And what natural treatment options are there for this condition?
Periodontitis, or periodontal disease, is a serious infection of the gums which weakens the soft tissue and bone that keeps the teeth anchored in place. It causes the bone around the teeth to slowly disappear, and left untreated, will eventually lead to the loss of one or more teeth. It is also associated with an increase in bacteria sticking to the surface of teeth, which in turn, increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and other health problems, as the system is slowly poisoned.
Periodontitis is, therefore, a serious condition, which we should all take steps to prevent or treat as quickly as possible if it diagnosed.
How will you know if you have developed this disease? Signs and symptoms to be aware of include swelling of the gums; gums changing color and becoming bright red or purple; painful gums; teeth appearing longer as gums recede; extra spaces or pus between teeth; bleeding when brushing or flossing; a metallic taste in the mouth; continuous bad breath; and teeth becoming loose.
A dentist who has diagnosed periodontal disease will clean out bacteria from between the teeth, emphasize the importance of ongoing oral hygiene, and may prescribe an antimicrobial mouthwash or antibiotic gel. For more advanced periodontitis, surgery may be advised. These treatments are all invasive and carry risks and side-effects. For this reason, many people would rather turn to a natural alternative, and fortunately, nature has provided two natural weapons against this disease: Vitamin C in combination with quercetin, and the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
Vitamin C boosts the immune system and fights both infection and inflammation. Taken in conjunction with quercetin, a powerful flavonoid, it becomes even more effective. In fact, a 2012 study of 60 healthy men given either only vitamin C, only quercetin, or a combination of the two, found that those taking the combination saw improvements in cell health and inflammation reduction of between 50 and 62 percent – a much better result than either of the other two test groups.
Vitamin C is found in large quantities in yellow bell peppers, dark green leafy veggies, guavas, kiwifruits, broccoli and berries. And berries are also high in quercetin, making them an excellent choice to naturally increase both vitamin C and quercetin intake simultaneously. Good quality vitamin C and quercetin supplements are also available, but be sure to look for a non-GMO brand, preferably not sourced from China.
Another vital nutrient in the fight against periodontal disease is CoQ10, an antioxidant which is essential to the tissue and organ health of the entire body. Levels of this nutrient drop off as we age, which perhaps explains why rates of periodontitis increase exponentially as we get older. To combat this, you can increase your intake of foods high in CoQ10, like mackerel, sardines, broccoli and spinach. Alternatively, a supplement of between 60 and 600 mg can be taken daily, depending on your overall state of health. It would be wise to consult your natural health practitioner for more specific guidelines in this regard. (RELATED: For more on natural ways to improve dental health, see Dentistry.news.)
So, if your dentist diagnoses you with periodontal disease, don’t panic. Increase your intake of organic, non-GMO fruits and veggies, start supplementing with vitamin C, quercetin and CoQ10, be sure to maintain your oral health routine, and you will be on your way to recovery in no time.
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