Reversing Gum Disease Naturally

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Diets and Supplements

While the main causes of periodontal disease are stress and poor oral hygiene, another problem leading to gum disease may be poor diet. It is the missing link to prevention and treatment of gum disease, and it is almost always ignored. I will list some foods that will enable you to build stronger bones and healthier gum tissue.

Why Diet Plays an Important Role
Diet is important in controlling periodontal disease because bacteria in the mouth use sugars for energy and reproduction. When your oral hygiene is poor and your diet is high in sugar, more bacteria are produced. The higher bacterial level will then inflame the gums and may increase plaque formation, resulting in gum disease. If we consume a high-sugar diet, the body will produce more bacteria in the mouth. Stress, combined with such a sugar diet, adds acid to our saliva and will show its results in gum disease. (It also may lead to hypoglycemia.) Studies have shown that it is more harmful to eat sugar-containing foods between meals than it is to eat them with meals.

We need vitamins and minerals in our diet. Vitamins help regulate our metabolism. A diet high in fiber and fruits and vegetables will help to reverse gum problems naturally. Most important, we need the fats and proteins that provide the energy that helps build the cells of our body. To reverse gum disease naturally, we must alter our diet and discipline ourselves to maintain healthier eating patterns. Please see a nutritionist to get counseling for a diet that is programmed for you specifically.

In isolated areas where groups of aboriginal people live, it has been proven that their teeth and gums are in a healthy state. These groups do not follow what we consider proper oral hygiene, yet they have healthy mouths. Why? They eat live foods and basically lead simple, stress-free lives. If these people came to live here, their teeth and gums would start to show disease states that would be due to the processed foods that we eat.

People who are obese and eat sugary foods have a higher susceptibility to gum disease than those who eat a balanced diet. Soft and sticky food (like nutrition bars), which tend to remain in the grooves of the teeth, are also a culprit and can lead to tooth and gum problems. It is not the vitamin content but the natural sugars, such as honey, in these nutritional bars that get stuck in the grooves of your teeth.

Is it true that what we are what we eat? Yes! I hope that you will begin to eat a balanced diet, and try to consume the recommended daily allowances of nutrients as suggested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Caution: Certain medications and conditions alter vitamin and mineral balance. See a nutritionist or internist for individual guidance.

(Adapted with permission. Reversing Gum Disease Naturally copyright 2003 by Sandra Senzon. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.)
PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE)

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By Sandra Senzon, R.D.H.

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