Taking proper care of your teeth and gums goes well beyond the recommended two visits a year to the dentist to have your teeth checked, cleaned, and x-rayed. The real work is back at home and involves brushing your teeth after meals and flossing once a day. Yet even those two activities are no guarantee that you will stave off cavities needing fillings and gum disease that starts out as gingivitis and can develop into the more serious issue known as periodontitis. The goal is to keep all of your teeth healthy and firmly implanted in gums that are not inflamed or besieged by destructive bacterial infections. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, per listerine.com, is a form of inflammation inside the mouth. It is brought on by the proliferation of bacterial growth around the tooth and along the gum line, an affliction that can eventually lead to the loosening and, ultimately, the loss of teeth. The good news is that such a condition is preventable with proper and persistent care of teeth – which is your responsibility.
What Is Gum Disease?The most common form of gum disease is gingivitis, which is actually more common than you might think – especially if you already have it and wonder if you are suffering from a rare condition. You aren't, at least not a rare condition. About three out of four American adults have gingivitis, which is characterized by mild inflammation and is often accompanied by bleeding gums, most noticeable when brushing your teeth or, more likely, while flossing. There generally are four stages of gum disease, with gingivitis being the most mild form. It can then progress to Stage 4. This is what's known as advanced periodontitis in which teeth become considerably loose, and biting and chewing your food can be painful. At this stage, it takes somewhat extensive dental treatment to try and correct the damage brought on by advanced periodontitis.
Age Is Also a FactorWhen bacterial infections develop and give rise to gum disease, your immune system is there to respond, attacking the invading organisms with a combination of cell networks, tissues, and organs, although your body's ability to fend off those bacteria gradually decrease as we age, per dentistrytoday.com. That's because your body's capacity to process the nutrients needed to properly fuel the immune system is weakened. However, that can be countered with consumption of a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables that pack a punch of antioxidants that thwart cell oxidation and thus decrease the chances of systemic diseases, such as gum disease.
Natural Remedies to Help Fight Gum DiseaseNutritional supplements can also have a significant effect in significantly limiting the bleeding and tissue damage linked to periodontic disease. If you suspect you already have gum disease, then a visit to the dentist is in order, both to treat your teeth and gums, and to discuss your diet and nutritional supplementation with either the hygienist or the dentist, or both. Following are 10 supplements that have shown the ability to aid with your personal dental care:
- Vitamin A. Vitamin A isn't just good for your eyes, it also can play an instrumental role in your tooth health as it keeps you salivary glands functioning optimally. Your saliva helps inhibit tooth decay by washing away destructive bacteria and plaque lurking inside your mouth, per absolutedental.com.
- B vitamins. This family of vitamins includes B-2 (riboflavin) and B-3 (niacin), which both work to tamp down oral sores and inflammation – to include infected gums.
- Vitamin C. This versatile compound is key for maintaining the strength and health of connective tissues in your mouth. A shortage of vitamin C can doom you to the loosening and eventual loss of your teeth accompanied by the dreaded disease of your gums, per absolutedental.com.
- Calcium. As you might have suspected, calcium is included on this list for its potency in promoting bone health, per absolutedental.com. If you are lacking calcium in your body, it will compensate by removing what it can find of it in your bones, and that includes your teeth.
- CoQ10. This is especially important for anyone taking statin drugs, which have been linked to a CoQ10 deficiency, per dentistrytoday.com. That's a concern relative to your teeth and gums because clinical studies have shown such a deficiency to be closely associated with gum disease. Boosting your CoQ10 level can not only help in the healing of gum tissue but also help resolve dry mouth issues.
- Garlic. OK, so this isn't what you want for fresh breath, but garlic's abundance of antiseptic and antibacterial characteristics make it a possible go-to supplement for healing gum disease. Per facty.com, the recommendation is to mix a few garlic cloves with a tablespoon of water to form a natural type of toothpaste to be applied to your gums before you brush your teeth. Then thoroughly rinse out the garlic paste once you are finished brushing.
- Holy basil. Per dentistrytoday.com, holy basil can thwart the invading bacteria that causes cavities, gum disease, and inflammation.
- Potassium. Similar to calcium, potassium can help prevent the loss of mineralization in your teeth. It can also contribute to blood clotting, which is a key consideration when recovering from oral surgery or the presence of other conditions that involve bleeding gums, per absolutedental.com.