Q: Can Vitamins and Minerals really help to prevent Periodontal Disease?
A: Absolutely. A lack of certain nutrients can become a factor in periodontal disease by making it more difficult for the mouth to resist infection. Periodontal disease is a condition where the infected gums gradually pull away from the teeth, deepening the surrounding pockets, allowing the infection to destroy the supporting bone. This results in the loosening of the teeth and their eventual loss if left untreated.
Vitamins and minerals play a crucial part in helping the body combat bleeding and swollen gums, loosening of teeth, decay and bad breath. More specifically, vitamins and minerals help to form antibodies, help fight bacteria and infection and aid in the response of the immune system.
So what recommendations should a dentist make to his or her patients regarding diet and nutrition? The first suggestion should be to eat a well balanced diet and take the necessary nutritional supplements. Keep in mind that food storage, food processing, freezing and thawing, and cooking depletes the majority of nutrients from foods that were originally nutritious.
There are many other factors that affect the way vitamins and minerals are absorbed into our system. Stress, smoking, alcohol, drugs (pharmaceutical and recreational), pollution and various medical conditions can act to prevent one from receiving the benefits of a well-balanced meal.
Remember that disease tends to occur less frequently in a healthy, well-balanced body.