Although natural supplements have not yet been established as a positive cure for or prevention technique, they can play a vital role in helping protect you from gum disease or speeding healing after gum disease treatment. Here are five supplements that are believed to help gum disease, followed by some cautions about using natural supplements.
Of all the natural supplements discussed here, grape seed has the best scientific track record. Although it’s only really been noted in the last ten years or so, a considerable amount of research has gone into attempting to establish the effects of grape seeds and raisins on oral health, and it turns out that some of the nutrients in grapes are so good for your teeth in terms of antibacterial properties and remineralization, they overcome the sugar and stickiness to the extent that raisins are likely good for your teeth and gums. Grape seed extract gives you these benefits in concentrated form.
Coenzyme Q10 is a general-purpose supplement that helps with many aspects of your overall health, including your body’s ability to heal. Although studies of direct application of CoQ10 gel during periodontal therapy give mixed results, as a supplement the nutrient is likely very helpful to promoting adhesion of your gums to your teeth.
Echinacea is well known as a cold-fighting supplement, and its general ability to promote the immune system and suppress bacterial infection have been shown. It can be used as a mouth rinse and is an active ingredient in an herbal periodontal patch currently under development.
Folic acid is a vital nutrient for the health of your gums. If you’re not getting enough of it, you should supplement. Along with vitamin C (think scurvy), folic acid has been identified as one of the key nutrients that people with gum disease are lacking.
Green tea extract has been shown to have a powerful inhibitory effect on bacteria, especially Streptococcus mutans, one of the primary culprits in gum disease and tooth decay. The best news is that these effects are seen at concentrations of the vital ingredients (catechins) you might actually achieve in your brewed tea, meaning that green tea itself can be used to reduce gum disease.
Not all nutritional supplements are good or harmless to your teeth. Some, like feverfew and gingko have been associated with gum swelling and bleeding. There are also many supplements that have potential interactions with drugs and other treatments, so it’s important to tell your doctor and dentist which natural supplements you are taking.
It’s also important to know that none of these herbal supplements are standalone cures for gum disease. If you are suffering from gum disease, these can help you heal and improve your results, but you have to see a dentist or periodontist to make sure you get effective gum disease treatment.