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What Doctors Don't Tell You

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October 2020 (Vol. 5 Issue 7)

5 Natural ways to beat gum disease
About the author: 
Joanna Evans

5 Natural ways to beat gum disease image

Nature has plenty to offer when it comes to gum disease, says Joanna Evans.

Most adults in the US have some form of gum disease (also known as periodontal disease), which can include gingivitis (inflamed gums) and periodontitis, a more severe form of inflammation that affects the supporting structures of the teeth and can lead to tooth loss.

Besides regular brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist to keep gum disease-causing plaque and tartar in check, what else can you do to keep your gums in the pink? Here are five natural remedies that can help (and also see page 55 for the best natural options for cats).

1) Coenzyme Q10

Low levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a vitamin-like compound found in practically every cell of the human body, have been reported in as many as 96 percent of patients with periodontal disease.1 And CoQ10 supplements can boost CoQ10 concentrations in diseased gums and reduce inflammation.2

Topical CoQ10 seems to be beneficial too. Applying CoQ10 to the teeth and gums was just as effective as traditional scaling treatment for reducing plaque and bleeding gums in a group of gingivitis sufferers—and the two treatments combined were more effective than either treatment alone.3

Suggested dosage: 50-100 mg/day oral CoQ10 (look out for 'ubiquinol,' the active form), or try twice-daily use of a natural CoQ10-containing mouthwash or toothpaste, like Jason's Healthy Mouth Toothpaste ( or PerioBrite Mouthwash by Nature's Answer (

2) Propolis

This sticky resin collected by bees from leaf buds and tree bark is a natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic that appears to fight plaque and gum disease. In one study, albeit an uncontrolled one (i.e., there was no comparison group taking a placebo), a mouthwash containing 5 percent Brazilian green propolis showed significant effects in reducing plaque and gum inflammation after three months.4 Another, much higher-quality trial found that propolis supplements improved chronic periodontitis in type 2 diabetes patients when used in combination with conventional treatments.5

Suggested dosage: 400 mg/day propolis capsules or two to three times daily application of a propolis gel or spray, like BeeVital's B-Gel ( or Comvita's Propolis Oral Spray (

3) Folate

Not just important for pregnant women, folate (vitamin B9) is showing promise for gum disease. A folate-containing mouthwash (5 mg per teaspoon), swished in the mouth for one minute twice a day, was found to reduce gum inflammation and bleeding.6 Taking the vitamin in capsule or tablet form might also be beneficial for gum health, according to one study, although the effective dose (4 mg or 4,000 mcg/day) was very high.7

Suggested dosage: Twice daily use of a folic acid-containing mouthwash like PerioBrite Mouthwash by Nature's Answer (; consult a qualified practitioner if you wish to try high-dose folic acid supplementation (and it's probably best to use a non-synthetic form of the vitamin, like L-methylfolate)

4) Green tea

People who drink a lot of green tea seem to have lower rates of periodontal disease. And test tube studies have found that green tea compounds
called polyphenols can prevent the growth of oral bacteria.8

When a green tea mouthwash went head to head against a conventional mouthwash used to treat gum disease, containing the potent antimicrobial chlorhexidine, both treatments were equally effective in reducing plaque
and gum inflammation, and green tea was even better for combating bleeding gums.

Suggested dosage: Try drinking a few cups of green tea a day, or use some cooled green tea as a daily mouthwash

5) Vitamin C

One of the first symptoms of scurvy—severe vitamin C deficiency—is swollen gums, and there is evidence that people with gum disease are low in this essential vitamin.10 Supplementing with just 70 mg/day led to improvements in a group of people with periodontitis after only six weeks.11

Suggested dosage: 1-3 g/day oral vitamin C; you could also try a vitamin C-containing mouthwash or toothpaste, like Jason's Powersmile products (



Altern Med Rev, 1996; 1: 11-7


J Dent Health. 1993;43:659-66


J Indian Soc Periodontol, 2012; 16: 539-42


Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2011; 2011: 750249


J Periodontol, 2016; 87: 1418-26


Clin Periodontol, 1984; 11: 619-28


J Periodontol, 1976; 47: 667-8


Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 1996; 60: 745-9; Sci Rep, 2017; 7: 44815


Contemp Clin Dent, 2015; 6: 505-9


Proc Finn Dent Soc, 1993; 89: 51-9


Int J Vitam Nutr Res, 1982; 52: 333-41

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