Gum disease is one of the most common diseases affecting between 50% and 80% of all adults.
Gum disease begins with the formation of plaque, most of the plaque is removed whilst brushing but if any of it is not removed then it begins to harden up under the gum line and forms into tartar.
Tartar is the white substance that attracts bacteria and makes plaque even more difficult to brush away. The longer plaque and tartar persist, the more damage they cause to the gum tissues. Initially, this damage pay present as mild inflammation at the base of gum tissues, which is known as gingivitis. Signs of gingivitis include:
- bad breath
- swollen, red, inflamed, or receding gums
- slight bleeding whist brushing.
If gingivitis is left untreated it can lead to periodontitis or periodontal disease so it's very important to act on these early signs before the damage to gum tissues increases. Periodontal disease occurs when the tartar, plaque and bacteria fill up between the gums and teeth leading to pockets which over a period of time can result in infections, which may lead to both the loss of gum tissue and the loss of teeth.
The good news is that gingivitis can be prevented relatively easily - all you need to do is make sure your dental hygiene routine includes regular and proper brushing, flossing and mouthwash usage. While combating the first signs of gingivitis is straight forward reversing the damage caused by periodontitis requires specialist attention.
Factors contributing to gum disease
- this unhealthy habit comprises the immune system making you more susceptible to gum infections. It also affects the circulatory system which in turn diminishes the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the gums. It also depletes vitamin C levels in the bloodstream which is an important nutrient for preventing gum disease.
- certain drugs such as cold remedies, anti-histamines and some anti-depressants reduce saliva production which is a problem seeing as saliva inhibits the formation of plaque.
- it seems from recent research that some people are more likely to get gum disease than others however this only affects between 1 and 10 per cent of periodontal disease sufferers.
- Nutrient deficiencies
- low levels of calcium, vitamin C and Co-Enzyme Q10 all lead to a greater risk of developing periodontal disease. It's important to maintain adequate dietary intake and understand how certain lifestyle habits can cause deficiencies - for example drinking sparkling beverages.
Combat the early signs of gum disease with Ubiquinol
Ubiquinol is a reduced form of Coenzyme Q10 - your body needs to convert ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10) into ubiquinol (reduced form Coenzyme Q10) before the body can utilise and benefit from it which is why it's thought be a more bioavailable form of the nutrient. The conversion of ubiquinone into ubiquinol is easy when you are young but as we age, the conversion of ubiquinone into ubiquinol becomes more difficult. This is why levels of Co-Enzyme Q1O decline with age to the point where by the time we're into our forties, levels of the nutrient decline to roughly half what they were when we are in our twenties.
Co-Enzyme Q10 is an enzyme that fuels every single cell of the body and is vital for cell division and regeneration - this is why low levels in body are thought to be one of the main reasons for ageing. Research in the early 1970’s showed that Co-Enzyme Q10 levels were found to be very low in those who suffered from gingivitis, bleeding gums and periodontal disease.
Dr Irfan Mian, lead researcher, used Co-Enzyme Q10 alongside routine therapies in patients with soft tissue diseases. The initial study involved 40 patients who were given 90 mg of Co-Enzyme Q1O (ubiquinone) together with selenium and zinc, and showed marked improvements in the health of gums within six weeks. Even when Co-Enzyme Q1O was administered on its own, the results were similar. It is thought that Co-Enzyme Q1O works to increase energy production and boost micro-circulation in the infected tissues and as a result helps to improve oxygenation within these tissues thereby encouraging the healing process. Whatever the theory though, research repeatedly shows it works.
While Dr Mian's research from many decades ago used Co-Enzyme Q10 research has since moved on we now know that the better utilised form of the nutrient is ubiquinol which is readily available as a supplement.
Taking good care of your mouth is known to be vitally important for general health and well being so its essential you give it the very best attention, especially in later life when you're more susceptible to gum disease and its associated health concerns. So if you spot those first signs of gingivitis, stop the damage from getting any worse and take a ubiquinol supplement.
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.