CoQ10 in Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

CoQ10 in Gum Disease (Periodontitis)


Do you have red, swollen or sensitive gums? Do your gums bleed easily when you brush or floss? All these conditions indicate gingivitis, infection and inflammation in the gums.

What causes gingivitis? It occurs when bacteria accumulate on the teeth and forms sticky, thin film (called plaque). As plaque grows, it becomes hard and is now called tartar, which can’t be easily removed by brushing and acts a perfect place for bacteria to grow and thrive.

If you ignore these signs and leave gingivitis untreated, this could grow into something more serious like periodontitis or gum disease, inflammation of structures around the teeth. In advanced gum disease, the gum starts to recede away from teeth, creating spaces or pockets that slowly expands. These pockets become infected and cause inflammation – eroding and destroying the bone, gum and connective tissues that support the teeth.

Gum health can’t be viewed in isolation. The bacteria that cause gum disease and decay bones and other tissues around your teeth can also enter the bloodstream and damage blood vessels. This damage triggers ongoing immune responses that eventually cause chronic inflammation, responsible for a host of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and arthritis. In fact, recent studies reveal that:

  • Treating periodontal disease can decrease markers of body-wide inflammation [1]
  • Treating gum disease can result in an improved overall health; specifically improves health outcomes in pregnancy and other systemic conditions [2]
  • There is a strong association between gum disease and increased risk of heart disease. [3]
It appears that coq10 can effectively treat and even reverse gum disease.

How CoQ10 helps in gum disease?


Did you know over half the dentists in Japan recommend CoQ10 supplements for periodontal disease?

CoQ10 is an antioxidant that the body makes on its own and you also get it from a variety of foods such as organ meats and fish especially salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines. However, it is important to understand that your body’s ability to produce CoQ10 declines with age. And you need more CoQ10 if you suffer from chronic infections or illness.

CoQ10 is present in every cell in the body. As an anti-oxidant, coq10 protects your cells and tissues from the radical damage and resulting inflammation. It is also required for the process through which the mitochondria, power plants of your cells, produce energy. In fact, its role in this energy generating process is so critical that your cells won’t be able to make any energy at all if there is no CoQ10.

Needless to say, you need CoQ10 for virtually every cellular function and to maintain the health of every tissue and organ in the body.  And your gums are no exception.

Link between gum disease and CoQ10


Gingival biopsies have shown that people with diseased gums have low levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in their gum tissue. The level of CoQ10 deficiency is directly related to the likelihood of developing gum disease. The more deficient you are, the higher your chances of getting gum problems. [4]

Research shows that daily supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 [5-6]:

  • Restores levels of CoQ10 in diseased gum and improves gum health
  • Controls inflammation in gum tissue and reduces swelling, redness and pain
  • Reduces the depth of gum pockets
  • Results in faster healing and repair of inflamed gums
  • Bolsters immune response in gum tissue and powers the body’s capacity to prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms around the teeth
CoQ10 is safe and well-tolerated when taken as a supplement. Some people may suffer from a mild case of upset stomach and allergic skin rash. It may also interfere with certain medications such as warfarin (blood thinner), diabetes medicine, anti-depressant and beta blockers. Always consult your physician before you start taking CoQ10 supplement to treat your gum disease.

References:
  1. Ahmed U, Tanwir F. Association of periodontal pathogenesis and cardiovascular diseases: a literature review. Oral Health Prev Dent. 2015.
  2. Jeffcoat et al. Impact of Periodontal Therapy on General Health: Evidence from Insurance Data for Five Systemic Conditions. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2014.
  3. Mathews MJ, Mathews EH, Mathews GE. Oral health and coronary heart disease. BMC Oral Health. 2016;16(1):122. Published online November 15, 2016. doi: 10.1186/s12903-016-0316-7.
  4. GP Littarru et al. Deficiency of Coenzyme Q10 in gingival tissue from patients with periodontal disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1971; 68(10): 2332-3
  5. Wilkinson et al. Bioenergetics in clinical medicine. II. Adjunctive treatment with coenzyme Q in periodontal therapy. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 1975 Sep; 12(1):111-23.
  6. S Prakash et al. Role of coenzyme Q(10) as an antioxidant and bioenergizer in periodontal diseases. Indian J Pharmacol. 2010 Dec; 42(6):334-7.

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