6 Natural Ways To Treat Periodontal Disease

Written by Michael T. Murray, N.D.
Michael T. Murray, N.D., is a naturopathic physician regarded as one of the world's top authorities on natural medicine.

Periodontal disease or periodontitis is an inflammatory condition of the gums and support structures in the mouth. It causes bad breath and bleeding of the gums when flossing. But it's more serious than that. Periodontal disease is a manifestation of a more systemic condition, such as diabetes, anemia, vitamin deficiency, leukemia, or other diseases of white blood cell function. As we age, we are more susceptible to periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease should be addressed by a dentist or periodontist, as well as a nutritionally minded doctor. However, there are a number of natural ways you can help improve your own condition, in conjunction with daily flossing, better all-around dental hygiene, and reduction of sugar in your diet. As a naturopathic doctor, here are a few options I recommend to my patients:

1. Vitamin C.

Studies have shown a link between vitamin C and improvements with periodontal disease. I recommend taking 500-1,000 mg three times per day.

2. Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency may predisposes a person to periodontal disease, and vitamin A has been used to supplement periodontal treatment, according to a research review published in Nutrients. I'd suggest trying 5,000 IU of vitamin A as beta-carotene.

3. Zinc

Zinc's importance in treating periodontal disease cannot be overstated. In one study conducted on rats in the Journal of Periodontal Research, researchers found zinc deficiency was a potential risk for periodontal and oral disease. I suggest rinsing twice daily with a mouthwash containing 5% zinc, which may also prevent plaque growth.

4. Vitamin E and selenium

These two nutrients function in tandem and counteract the effects of free radicals, which can be extremely damaging to gums. While more research is needed before making conclusions about their efficacy on periodontal disease, some research is very promising. If you want to give these a try, take 100-200 IU per day each of vitamin E and selenium.

5. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is also an effective antioxidant, and is widely used in Japan to treat many conditions, including periodontal disease. There have been many clinical studies using CoQ10 to treat periodontal disease, and the results have shown significant positive results. Take 50-100 mg three times per day.

6. Flavonoids

As a group, these compounds are an essential nutritional component of any periodontal disease treatment program. One study published in Life Sciences concluded "flavonoids are highly promising clinical agents for the prevention and reduction of periodontitis, which can be delivered easily to patients via mouthwash, toothpaste, and food products." You can also take either grape seed or pine bark extract at a daily dosage of 100-150 mg.

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