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Periodontal disease 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 improve your own condition, in conjunction with daily flossing, better all-around dental hygiene, and reduction of sugar in your diet.

1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of the periodontal membrane and the collagen matrix, which anchors the tooth to the bone. Take 500-1,000 mg one to three times per day.

2. Vitamin A
Vitamin A deficiency predisposes a person to periodontal disease. It is necessary for collagen synthesis, wound healing, and enhancing numerous immune functions. Take 5,000 IU of vitamin A as beta-carotene.

3. Zinc
Zinc’s importance in treating periodontal disease cannot be overstated. Zinc functions synergistically with vitamin A in many body processes. Zinc also inhibits plaque growth when one rinses twice daily with a mouthwash containing 5% zinc, or you can take 30 mg zinc picolinate per day.

4. Vitamin E and selenium
These two nutrients function in tandem and seem to deter periodontal disease by counteracting the effects of free radicals, which are extremely damaging to gums. Take 100-200 IU of vitamin E and 100-200 mcg selenium daily.

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 100-200 mg daily.

6. Flavonoids
As a group, these compounds are an essential nutritional component of any periodontal disease treatment program. Flavonoids are extremely effective in reducing inflammation and stabilizing collagen structures. For best results, take either grape seed or pine bark extract at a daily dosage of 100-150 mg.

7. Folic acid
The use of folic acid may prodsuce significant reductions of gingival (gum) inflammation. Take 800 mcg to 2 mg per day, or wash mouth with 1/2 fl oz of a 0.1% solution of folic acid twice a day.

8. Bloodroot
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) contains a mixture of alkaloids, but chiefly sanguinarine, which is available in commercial toothpastes and mouth rinses and has properties that are useful in preventing dental plaque formation. Use toothpaste containing the extract sanguinarine.

9. Gotu kola
This botanical can be put to good use in treating severe periodontal disease. If surgery is required, gotu kola can be helpful in speeding recovery after laser surgery for severe periodontal disease. Dosage is based upon triterpenic acid content. Recommended dosage is 30 mg of triterpenoids twice daily.

Learn more about natural ways to address common medical conditions. Readers who sign up for the Weekly Natural Facts Newsletter at the website will receive a free copy of my new ebook, Stress, Anxiety and Insomnia! What the Drug Companies Won’t Tell You and Your Doctor Doesn’t Know.

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