90% of Americans will be affected by gum disease during their lifetime, and 25% will lose their teeth to periodontal disease by the age of 60. Warning signs include swollen, tender, bleeding gums. As periodontal disease progresses, chronic bad breath, loose shifting teeth, and puss between teeth and gums may occur. Gums begin to recede, and, eventually, teeth fall out.
How can we fight back against gum disease? According to most dentists, the first line of defense is proper dental hygiene. This includes brushing twice daily, flossing once a day, and getting a professional cleaning at least twice a year.
Proper nutrition is also vital to oral health. Gum disease typically begins as gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and progresses to periodontal (inflammation of the periodontal ligaments). Nutrients that boost the immune system, help build collagen in the periodontal ligaments, and decrease inflammation can help battle gum disease.
CO ENZYME Q10: Nutrient for your Gums
Twenty-four patients suffering from severe periodontal disease which had not responded to extensive flossing and brushing were studied. 13 subjects received 50 mg of CoQ, 11 received placeboes. Nine of the thirteen CoQ patients improved dramatically. Only 3 of 11 placebo recipients showed minor improvement.
In 4 of the CoQ patients, symptoms of the disease completely disappeared within 8 weeks. "The therapeutic improvement ... with CoQ was better both the number of improved patients and the degree of improvement," reported the doctors.
Further studies at the U.S. Air Force Medical Center showed that periodontal patients dramatically improved the depths of their "pockets" by taking 75mg of CoQ a day. Another study in Japan confirmed that 60 mg a day of CoQ10 could improve diseased gums.
How does it work? Apparently by boosting the immune system to help battle the bacteria which can cause gum disease.
ANTIOXIDANTS: Nature's dental floss
While mildly spongy and bleeding gums (gingivitis) may simply be the result of plaque, accumulation of plaque can lead to the formation of "pockets" which trap more plaque. This leads to more serious gum disease -- called periodontis or pyorrhea. Pyorrhea causes halitosis and slowly eats away at the bone in the jaw, leading to tooth loss.
By supplementing Vitamin C and other antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, inflammation of the gums, which causes these pockets, can be reduced. Vitamins A and E, bioflavonoids, selenium, and zinc are key antioxidants for nutritional support for the gums. Anti-inflammatory nutrients like bromelain, papain and glucosamine sulfate also help.
MINERALS PROTECT AGAINST BONE LOSS
"Prevention is the first line of defense against gum disease," says Eve McClure of vitamin manufacturer Quantum. "By supplementing the diet, flossing, brushing and visiting the dentist regularly, people can dramatically improve their oral health."
In the battle against gum disease it seems that there are several important weapons. One of these is proper nutrition. According to McClure, "No campaign against periodontal disease is complete without proper nutrition."
The City of Is
Dahud was the younger, and she grew straight and tall and strong. Blue and keen were her eyes as the clear ocean air, and long and wild her hair in the wind. Dahud loved the sea and the ways of a sailor. She was a builder of ships and a navigator and roamed far from her father's country in search of unknown lands and oceans new.
Antinus roved not, but stayed with his people. He was a builder and craftsman. And he and his people builded the fabulous city of Isman. Isman was perched on a great rock, and seven walls of stone and iron encircled it. Impregnable was Isman to the wild tribes of the North and East, for on three sides was the ocean and on the other the seven walls and the great gates, made of giant mountain cedars cured in tar so no fire could harm them.
Ruled by the wise king Antinus, Isman grew in prosperity and wealth. And Anthony and Dahud were not the least of the reasons for the wealth of their father's city, for Anthony found trade routes to Asia and Cathay, and Dahud learned the trade routes across the wide and trackless seas.
But Antinus felt that he was growing old, and he spoke first to Antony and then to Dahud, when they were home from their travels, saying, "I feel the years wearing heavily upon me and when I die, Anthony will be the ruler of Isman, for he is the eldest. But one great building I may have left in my span of years, if God is willing. On the great rock you see in the distance will I build the city of Is, the Island city. And if God grant me the years to build it, it shall be ruled by Dahud and her descendants."
So Antinus began the greatest of all his buildings, and he and his people builded the fabulous city of Is. Seven walls encircled the city of Is; the first of stone, the second of wood, the third of copper, the 4th of bronze, the 5th of iron, the 6th of silver and the final, innermost, of pure gold. Within the circle of gold stood three towers, the tower of the sun, which was made of gold, the tower of the moon, which was of silver, and the tower of the sea, which was all of shell. Around the city on all sides was the ocean, and the tongues of the waves lapped at the stone wall day by night, night by day.
Is was an island city, perched on a rock. Seven years it was in the building and the materials for that great building were all brought to the great rock of Is by ship, and Dahud supervised this perilous task. And as the city was built, the people marveled at its great beauty, for Antinus the Builder wanted each of his creations to be greater and more glorious than the one before.
And when the city was completed, Anthony said to his father, "I am the eldest. Yet the city you have given me, Isman, is to Is as a candle to the sun."
"When I gave you Isman to rule," said Antinus, "There was no Is. Nor did I then know if I would live to finish my building. The city of Isman is none the lesser bcause of Is, and Is will be ruled by your sister Dahud, for it is a city of the sea."
Then Anthony grew angry with his father, for the glory of the city of Is gnawed at his heart and he felt that it was rightfully his and that Is had been stolen from him, as had his father's love. For because Anthony and Dahud were explorers and travelers there was little love between them; they had scarcely seen each other since they were small children.
"I will rule neither Is nor Isman, since it seems that I am not your heir," said Anthony, "But I will go forth into the world and seek my fortune among strangers, since I find so little favor amongst my kin. And this I say to you, my father, that Is shall be a land of trouble and of sorrow. For it is not meet that the younger should go ahead of the elder or that the woman should precede the man." And with that, Antony stalked off, bitter at heart, swearing vengeance.