Natural Therapies for Treating Diabetes-Related Periodontal Disease

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Filed Under: Diabetes Complications, Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Natural Therapies for Treating Diabetes-Related Periodontal Disease

Learn the seven ways you can prevent and treat gum disease brought on by diabetes

Periodontal disease occurs when the gums become infected and inflamed, and people with diabetes are at higher risk of developing it.

These other therapies can help keep your gums healthy, prevent periodontal disease, and even treat it:

  1. Brush and floss every day, and see your dentist regularly for cleanings. In addition, I recommend using an electric toothbrush like the Sonicare. The bristles of this toothbrush vibrate at about 500 strokes per second. This not only cleans the teeth but transmits acoustic energy that cleans and removes plaque between the teeth and below the gum line, the area normally reached only by flossing.
  2. Clean your tongue. The protective mucous coating on your tongue makes it an excellent hideout for bacteria. You can brush your tongue along with your teeth, or borrow a tool from Ayurvedic medicine and scrape your tongue once a day. Curved thin metal strips designed for this purpose not only remove plaque-forming bacteria, but are also one of the most effective breath fresheners around.
  3. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This nutrient has been shown to reduce inflammation and other signs of gum disease. I recommend 100 mg of CoQ10 once or twice a day.
  4. Vitamin C. This do-it-all nutrient also plays a key role in preventing gum disease, as it helps maintain the integrity of the supporting structures of the oral tissues. Take 2,500 mg of vitamin C daily.
  5. Zinc and vitamin A. Deficiencies in both of these nutrients are common in people with periodontal disease. Zinc, in particular, stabilizes cellular membranes, inhibits plaque growth and hastens wound healing. Take 30 mg per day, along with 5,000 IU of vitamin A.
  6. Xylitol. This natural sweetener that prevents tooth decay and reduces periodontal disease. Xylitol looks like sugar and tastes like sugar, but unlike sugar, it is slowly and only partially absorbed by the body–making it an excellent sweetener for people with diabetes. Xylitol also raises the pH level of the mouth, making it less hospitable to the bacteria Streptococcus mutans, which produce acids that eat through the enamel of teeth and cause decay.
  7. Stop smoking. If you have diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing it—and if you smoke, you are at even higher risk. Statistics show that people with diabetes who smoke and are 45 years or older are 20 times more likely to develop severe gum disease than people who don’t have these risk factors. If you smoke, take whatever steps necessary to quit now!

More Dr. Whitaker Advice on Diabetes Complications

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