Gum Disease in General
Gum disease or periodontal disease is an infection and inflammation of tissue and bone supporting the teeth. It is normally caused by plaque on the teeth, which is the sticky layer of germs covering the teeth. Plaque is formed from combination of bacteria and food residues.
By regular brushing and flossing, plaque can be eliminated from teeth. If this is not the case, accumulated plaque forms tartar under gum line which is harder to remove and visit to the dentist can be the only solution.
Unresolved tartar problem consequently leads to gingivitis. Gingivitis is inflamed gums which can be noticed by darker red color gums that bleed during brushing. Gingivitis can be treated with professional cleaning. In case of pain associated with bleeding it is sign of periodontitis, an infection and inflammation of deeper tissue and bone. It is a major cause for losing teeth after the age of 30.
Signs and symptoms of gum disease include red and swollen or tender gums, bad breath, receding gums, bleeding during brushing and flossing, and loose teeth.
- Vitamin C. Insufficiency in vitamin C increases the risk of gum disease since it has antioxidant properties. Studies showed that people with intake of more than 180mg of vitamin C have much less risk of developing periodontal disease than those who took 60 mg of vitamin C per day. Diet must include grapefruit, orange, kiwi, mango, papaya, strawberry and red pepper or vitamin C supplement to prevent and relieve the disorder.
- Vitamin D. Studies confirmed that sufficient level of blood vitamin D reduces the risk of gum disease. It is due to anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin D. This vitamin is synthesized in skin when we are exposed to sun. 10 or 15 minutes of sun bathing twice a week is enough. Otherwise, it may be taken as a supplement.
- Coenzyme Q 10. This is an antioxidant that is produced in the body and found in foods. It can be also found in supplement form. It is proven that there is a connection between periodontal disease and coenzyme Q 10 insufficiency. There is coenzyme Q 10 toothpaste available for prevention and treatment.
- Tea tree oil. It acts as antibiotic and tea tree toothpaste can be found to reduce the plaque.
- Cranberry. Cranberry juice is a natural remedy for gum disease due to preventing bacteria from keeping on teeth.
- Rotating electric toothbrush. It reduces gingivitis and plaque and is more effective than regular toothbrush.
- Avoiding stress. There is a link between the stress and gum disease. Meditation, deep breathing and relaxation are recommended.