Health: Vitamins & Supplements
Gingivitis: Effective nutraceutical solutions to help beat it
Health: Vitamins & Supplements
19 Jun 2018
Most people have an idea of what gingivitis is, but it’s not necessarily correct. Many think it’s just a case of sensitive gums that tend to bleed but it’s actually a form of an oral disease. It is also a lot more common than you realise. As many as 30-percent of adults over 50 have the disease. However, younger people are affected too, particularly if they’re affected by certain risk factors.
Gingivitis – it all starts with plaque
The main cause of gingivitis is a build-up of plaque that eventually hardens into tartar. While plaque is easy to remove – all you have to do is brush and floss – you won’t be able to get rid of tartar at home. This is why it’s important to brush your teeth well and make appointments with your dentist for a regular professional clean. There will always be places your toothbrush just can’t reach – places like the cracks of faulty filling or the spaces just under braces.
Also, a word about floss. Of the many people who do brush their teeth regularly, not as many floss. However, its importance should never be underestimated. Aside from being able to get into the tight spaces between your gums, it could even save your life! Bacteria that are allowed to grow leads to the chronic inflammation of your gums. As it turns out, this particular bacterium can find its way into your arteries and form plaque there too. Also, your arteries end up narrowing as a result of the chronic inflammation. In short, it’s the fast track to increasing your risk of heart disease.
Catch gingivitis early
While gingivitis is characterized by painful gums that bleed and may even recede. The beginning stages often go unnoticed as the initial inflammation doesn’t cause much discomfort. By the time you get to the point where it hurts to brush, chances are your teeth are covered in tartar. That’s the irony of gingivitis. Once it sets in, brushing well, which at one point could’ve prevented now becomes seemingly impossible.
Still, if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious condition called periodontitis. In this case, the gum sockets start to pull away from the tooth, creating the perfect pocket for bacteria. The bacterial toxins don’t just lead to an infection or painful abscess. They can also break down the bone and tissue that holds teeth in place and result in the loss of a tooth!
Prevention’s always best
There are lots of ways to treat gingivitis but none of them or simple or something you’d want to do. If detected in the early stages, you might be able to get away with treatment via antibiotics and a prescription oral rinse. If not, you could be looking at invasive surgical treatments like curettage. This requires a procedure in which the diseased tissue is surgically cut away. The alternative is a soft tissue graft, which is just as uncomfortable as it sounds.
At Health Renewal, the focus is on prevention as opposed to cure. If you’ve suffered from gingivitis in the past or are a patient with several risk factors, make an appointment with one of our doctors. They can offer you suggestions as to the best form of treatment, as well as, a potent combination of supplements. All of which can help you while you heal and assist in preventing another dalliance with the disease.
What are the risks?
As far as risk factors go, these are numerous and include being on a particular medication that makes you more prone to plaque build-up (these range from contraceptives to anti-hypertension drugs). Diseases like leukaemia, conditions like menopause or pregnancy and lifestyle choices like smoking.
Nutraceuticals to the rescue!
There are a number of nutraceuticals that can help protect the health of your gums and one is co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Studies have shown that doses of as little as 50mg of CoQ10 a day can help halt the deterioration of gums and allow healing to occur. This was noticed by doctors who gave their patients the antioxidant while treating them for heart disease.
Another great supplement for gum health is folic acid. New evidence has suggested that, when used topically as a mouthwash, it can reduce gingivitis symptoms, particularly the inflammation.
Another inflammation-fighter? Fish oil! A double-blind study recently compared two groups suffering from periodontitis. Both groups were given traditional treatments. However, the one group was given daily fish oil supplementation (180mg of EPA and 120mg DHA) and the other a placebo. The fish oil group’s improvement was remarkable in comparison to the placebo group.
When it comes to gingivitis, good oral hygiene is always your best defence, but don’t discount the power of neutraceuticals to help preserve your smile.