Micronutrients In Oral Health And Periodontosis

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Gum disease starts with bacterial infection and inflammation of the gums. In its initial stage - gingivitis - the bacteria in the plaque buildup slowly destroys the gum line leading to bleeding gums. Periodontitis is an advanced stage involving the destruction of supporting soft tissue and teeth.

Although poor oral hygiene is one of the major contributing factors for gum disease, other risk factors are smoking, hormonal changes (during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause), genetic predisposition, and diseases such as diabetes. In addition, chronic deficiency of collagen-building micronutrients such as vitamin C, lysine, and proline impairs gum structure and accelerates oral problems. A complete deficiency of vitamin C leading to scurvy is marked by bleeding gums as the first sign of the disease. The amino acids lysine and proline are building blocks of collagen which is important for the integrity of the gums and healthy teeth structure.

Our pilot clinical trial documents the effects of specific micronutrient combinations in patients with periodontitis.* The efficacy of treatment was assessed by the “bleeding-on-probing” (BoP) method that measures the size of gum pockets. For twelve weeks, study participants took a combination of vitamin C, lysine, proline, and other micronutrients essential for healthy collagen.

The average BoP at the beginning of the study was 60% corresponding to advanced stage of gum disease. The gum improvements were visible already after six weeks on the micronutrient program and by the end of eight weeks the BoP decreased to 14%. This continued until the end of the trial for all participants. We also noticed a significant improvement in gum firmness and reduction in spontaneous bleeding gums.

Conventional dentistry treats periodontitis with procedures called scaling and root planning, and utilizes surgical repairs and dental implants as well. All procedures are very invasive and cost prohibitive for most people. Our study provides proof that a combination of specific micronutrients is an inexpensive and effective method to maintain healthy gums, in addition to regular and thorough dental hygiene practices. Additionally, micronutrient supplementation provides many other overall health benefits.

*Ref: J CM and NH Oct, 2019

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