Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis, Periodontitis, and Scorbutic Gums
Periodontal disease is a scourge on our society. It accounts for more lost teeth in adulthood than any other dental problem. Gum disease will affect nine out of ten Americans, and one out of every four persons will lose all their teeth to periodontal disease by age 60. Thirty-two million Americans have gum disease right now in such an advanced state that they will lose teeth if they don't receive immediate attention.

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gingivae. Gingivitis associated with bony changes is referred to as periodontitis. Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) is a progressive painful infection, also occurring in subacute and recurrent forms, marked by crateriform lesions of the interdental papillae that are covered by pseudomembranous slough and circumscribed by linear erythema. Fetid breath, increased salivation and  gingival hemorrhage are additional features. The etiology is uncertain, but fusiform bacilli and spirochetes, together with other microorganisms, are present in the lesions; many authorities believe that the disease is caused by a bacterial complex in the presence of predisposing factors such as pre-existing gingival disease and nutritional deficiency. Although the disease often occurs in an epidemic pattern, it has not been shown to be contagious.

Periodontitis is the inflammatory reaction of the tissues surrounding a tooth (periodontium), usually resulting from the extension of gingival inflammation (gingivitis) into the periodontium. Periodontitis has been classified into five clinical types; prepubertal, juvenile, rapidly progressive, adult, and necrotizing ulcerative gingivoperiodontitis. Called  also  alveolodental  osteoperiostitis,  cementoperiostitis, and paradentitis. Adult  periodontitis,  the  most common form of periodontitis, usually occurs after the age of 35 and usually is manifested by slow progression

of tissue destruction which may ultimately result in loss of the teeth.

Scorbutic Gums are gums that are red, spongy with possible bleeding.


Nutrients Involved

Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, coenzyme Q10.

Contributing Factors

Poor hygiene, poor diet, alveolar bone loss, prescription drug use, (i.e. hydantoinates such as dilantin, etc.).

Suggested Nutritional Supplementation


  • 500-C Methoxyflavone - 2-4 tablets twice daily with food.

Vitamin C with hesperidin/methoxy-flavone complex.

  • CoQ10 200 mg - 1-6 softgels daily.

Stablized Coenzyme Q10 with Natural Vitamin E

Although the research is preliminary, animal models have shown that Co Q10 may be useful in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. The effects appear to arise form Co Q10's ability to protect against neurotoxicity.

Iso D3 TM - 1 tablet three times daily.

Vitamin D3 with Isoflavones.  Iso D3 is designed to support optimal metabolism of vitamin D to its active form.

  • Colloidal Silver - use as a mouth rinse 2-3 times daily
  • Cal Apatite Plus - 2-3 tablets twice daily with food.

Cal Apatite Plus provides a unique combination of the same calcium-rich MCHC found in original Cal Apatite®, but with key nutritional factors added to help maintain healthy bone density.

  • Appropriate Wellness EssentialsTM formula - 1-2 packets daily.
    Key Vitamins & Minerals, Essential Fatty Acids, PLUS Patient Specific Nutrition.

Dietary Suggestions

  • Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk

A HealthDay News article on May 27 says -- "There may be another good reason to floss each day: A new study finds that gum disease could raise the risk for cancer."

"Men with history of periodontal disease had a 14 percent higher risk of cancer than those who did not have periodontal disease, and the increase persisted among never smokers," said lead researcher Dominique Michaud, a cancer epidemiologist at Imperial College London, in the U.K.

People with gum infections do have an increased amount of inflammatory markers circulating in their blood, and inflammation has been linked to cancer, experts say. But the exact link, if any, between gum disease and cancer remains unclear.

This new finding needs to be examined in other populations and among women, but it at least suggests that oral health may have some impact on cancer risk, Michaud said.

"If other data can support this association, then it will have implications for prevention and may provide some new clues on the role of the immune function in cancer development," Michaud said.

The report is published in the June edition of the journal The Lancet Oncology.

In the study, Michaud's team collected data on more than 48,000 American men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up study, which included health professionals aged 40 to 75.

During an average of 17.7 years of follow-up, 5,720 cancer cases were reported. These cases excluded non-melanoma skin cancer and non-aggressive prostate cancer. The most common cancers reported were colorectal, melanoma, lung and bladder and advanced prostate cancer, Michaud's group found.

After taking into account other risk factors, such as smoking and diet, the researchers found that men with a history of gum disease had a 14 percent higher risk of developing cancer compared with men did not have a history of the condition.

While the overall risk was 14 percent, the risk for specific cancers was typically higher. Compared to men with healthy gums, men with a history of gum disease had a 36 percent increased risk of lung cancer, a 49 percent hike in risk of kidney cancer, a 54 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer, and a 30 percent increased risk of white blood cell cancers.

In addition, men who had fewer teeth at the beginning of the study had a 70 percent increased risk of developing lung cancer, compared with men who had 25 to 32 teeth, Michaud's team found.

However, the association between gum disease and lung cancer disappeared among men with gum disease who had never smoked, the team noted. Men with gum disease who did not smoke still had a 35 percent increased risk for blood cancers, however, and a 21 percent overall increased risk for cancer.

One expert believes that the increased risk found in the study is too small to conclude that gum disease is a major risk factor for cancer.

"I am not very impressed with the finding," said Dr. Eva S. Schernhammer, an assistant professor, medicine and public health at Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health. "It's a really modest increased risk. I am not sure I would make too much out of it," she said.

"If this is a true association, it could be a marker of socioeconomic status, or a marker for some inflammatory process that leads to cancer," Schernhammer reasoned. "Given the small increase in risk, I'm not sure it would lead to major, dramatic changes in anything" in terms of public health policy, she said.

SOURCES: Dominique Michaud, Sc.D., reader in cancer epidemiology, Imperial College London, U.K.; Eva S. Schernhammer, M.D., Dr.P.H., assistant professor, medicine and public health, Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health, Boston; June 2008; The Lancet Oncology)

Dr. T's comment:

This is just another small addition to the long list of triggers, mediators, causes, and factors implicated in cancer development.

There are so many, we tend to get anxious reading the newspaper! Remember, however, that these causes must work in concert (with synergism) to cause sufficient damage to our metabolism (leading ultimately to cancer).

The study described here does not separate the subjects based on their totality of risk factors, although it does hint to the effect of synergism in mentioning the severe increase of lung cancer risk in those who have gum disease AND have a history of smoking (notice how that risk gets reversed with non-smokers!).

This means that making moderate efforts to reduce SOME of the known risks (for example, eating polluted food and drinking polluted water, eating foods containing animal protein and high amounts of animal fats, rancid fats, and trans-fats, and high exposure to electromagnetic forces) may be sufficient to reduce your anxiety about your other, non-addressed risk factors.

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