Antioxidants are key to your immune system and can improve periodontal (gum) disease health. Bone loss around the teeth is very common, but is an indication of poor oral health. Regular dental visits and good oral hygiene is critical to the health of gums and teeth. When you floss and brush you not only mechanically remove the bacteria, but also introduce oxygen into the environment under the gums where bacteria thrive. The destructive bacteria can only grow in an environment that lacks oxygen.
It is a combination of boosting the immune system and removing the destructive bacteria that is necessary to improve oral health. On a microscopic level there is also a battle raging between damaging free radicals vs. your protective antioxidant defenders. New developments in the use of these antioxidants have shown to be a very effective adjunct in boosting the immune system.
An example of the oxidative damage from the free radicals is if you take an apple and cut it. Exposing it to the oxygen in the air turns it brown. If you coat it with lemon juice (vitamin C) it prevents the discoloration by providing an antioxidative effect.
Free radicals are molecules that oxidize and damage cells. Sources of free radicals include things like smoking, radiation exposure, sunlight, pollution, stress medications, food additives, pesticides and herbicides. Examples of antioxidants include carotenoids, Vitamin C and E, CoQ10, lipoic acid and bioflavonoids. Green tea is also a great source of antioxidants to combat periodontal disease. It is difficult to obtain the power and level of active antioxidants in foods, so highly concentrated supplements are needed.
There have been studies recently done that show a significant decrease in bleeding and other signs of periodontal disease with the use of these antioxidants.
We are starting to put our patients on vitamins, minerals and other antioxidant compounds during their initial phases of periodontal therapy. As a convenience, our patients can purchase them directly from us. With high expectations, those going through therapy will have long term improvement in their overall health including their oral health. We continue to promote keeping the natural teeth in function as long as possible and this is another means we can team up with our patients to accomplish this goal.