Gum Disease. Best Supplements to Combat Periodontal Disease

Updated: 11/21/23

Are you concerned about gum disease? Not only can it cause embarrassing bad breath and unsightly teeth, but if left untreated it can lead to serious health problems. But luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent draining your bank account with unneeded treatments by supplementing your diet with the right vitamins and minerals essential for good dental hygiene now! In this blog post we will dive into what gum disease really is, the many causes of periodontal diseases, as well as how to combat it through dietary supplements that support healthy gums. Keep reading to discover tips on maintaining strong teeth and gums without breaking the bank or having to rely solely on professional dental care.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal diseases affect between 30 and 50 percent of the world’s population. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and bones supporting the teeth. This condition is caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums. If left untreated, the plaque can lead to the development of tartar, a hardened deposit that can irritate the gums and cause inflammation. Over time, the inflammation can lead to the destruction of the gums and bones supporting the teeth.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

The signs of periodontal disease include:

Bleeding Gums

If your gums bleed while brushing and flossing, it is a sign that your gums are inflamed. This is the first indication of periodontal disease. In its early stage, periodontal disease is called gingivitis.

Receding Gums 

If you’ve noticed that your gums are receding or pulling away from your teeth, it’s a red flag for periodontal disease. As the gums recede, the pockets between the teeth and gum line deepen, allowing more bacteria to grow.

Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth could be a sign of many things, including periodontal disease. If your teeth become more sensitive to cold or hot foods, it is time to consult a dentist.

Constant Bad Breath

If your breath smells bad, it may not be due to something you ate. Bad breath is another sign that bacteria are building up in your mouth leading to periodontal disease.

Nighttime Grinding

Grinding your teeth at night is a symptom of stress that could put you at risk of developing periodontal disease.

Shifting Teeth

Changes in your bite are yet another symptom of periodontal disease. If the teeth start moving away from each other, it’s an indication that the gum has loosened its grip on them and no longer keeps them securely in place.

Pus and Sores

If you observe pus or sores on your gums, it could be an advanced sign of periodontal disease.

Unusual Taste in the Mouth

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that destroys the gums and bone structure that holds the teeth in place. This infection can cause an unusual taste in your mouth or persistent bad breath. If you notice an odd taste that lingers even after brushing your teeth or using mouthwash, it may be an early symptom of periodontal disease.

Loose Teeth

As periodontal disease progresses, it can cause the gums to recede from the teeth, and the bone supporting the teeth can begin to deteriorate. This results in loose teeth and gaps between your teeth. If you experience any discomfort while chewing food or if your teeth feel unstable when touched, it may be a sign of advanced periodontal disease.

Changes in How the Teeth Fit Together

As your teeth shift position due to periodontal disease, you may notice changes in your bite or how your teeth fit together. This can result in painful chewing or biting down too hard on one side of your mouth. If you notice any significant changes in how your teeth fit together, you should consult your dentist immediately.

Stages of Periodontal Disease

There are four major stages of periodontal disease that range in severity and require different forms of treatment.

Stage 1: Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the first and most mild stage of gum disease. Plaque — a colorless sticky membrane that forms over the teeth — builds up around the gums, causing swelling, inflammation and even bleeding. A deeper space also forms between the gum and the tooth. The patient may not experience any symptoms or it may progress further.

Stage 2: Early Periodontitis

Early periodontitis is the second stage of periodontal disease and occurs when inflammation has progressed past the gums to the connective tissue that holds teeth in place. Early symptoms of periodontitis include swelling of the gum tissue and space developing between teeth and gums. As space expands, bacteria build-up increases, resulting in further irritation, and infection. This stage can result in permanent damage to the gum and bone that support the teeth.

Stage 3: Moderate Periodontitis

Moderate periodontitis is the third stage of periodontal disease. At this stage, the gums recede further, and pockets deepen. Bacteria continues to build up causing further damage to the supporting bone, teeth may become loose, and shift in position. Inflammation can cause the immune system to break down over time, leading to tooth loss, and in some cases, bone loss.

Stage 4: Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of periodontal disease. At this stage, teeth may become loose and could fall out. This stage is irreversible, and if not addressed, it can lead to the removal of several teeth. Advanced periodontitis can also result in severe damage to the jawbone, making tooth replacement difficult.

Can Gum Disease Cause Headaches?

When you have gum disease, your mouth is full of bacteria that can spread to other parts of your body, including your bloodstream. This bacteria triggers an immune response that produces inflammation and swelling. This inflammation can cause your blood vessels to constrict, reducing the blood supply to your head and causing a headache. Moreover, gum disease can cause sinus infections or complications that lead to sinus congestion and pressure headaches. So, if you suffer from gum disease, you’re more likely to experience headaches of different types.

Symptoms/Stages of Periodontal Disease

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Named as the leading cause of tooth loss in adults aged 65 and above, periodontal disease can be nasty and distressing, especially when left untreated. Therefore, understanding the causes and prevention measures of periodontal disease can save you from a lot of pain, time, and expenses.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor dental hygiene is the leading cause of periodontal disease. When you fail to brush and floss regularly, bacteria multiply rapidly, creating a conducive environment for gum disease to set in. Plaque and tartar buildup around the teeth cause the gums to become swollen, tender, and bleed easily. Thus, it is essential to brush and floss daily and visit your dentist for professional cleaning at least twice a year.

Smoking and Tobacco Use

Smoking is another major cause of periodontal disease. Tobacco smoke affects the immune system and makes it difficult for your body to fight infections. Additionally, smoking lowers your ability to heal after dental procedures, making it harder to manage gum disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best way to protect your oral health and prevent gum disease.

Hormonal Changes

Fluctuating hormone levels in women also increase the risk of periodontal disease. During pregnancy, the gums are susceptible to inflammation and infection as a result of hormonal changes. Therefore, expectant mothers should pay close attention to their oral hygiene during pregnancy and visit their dentist for regular check-ups.

Poor Nutrition

Nutritional deficiencies, especially in vitamin C, can increase the risk of gum disease. This nutrient is necessary for collagen formation in the gums, which helps keep them healthy and strong. A diet that is low in vitamins and nutrients weakens the immune system, making it less effective at fighting bacterial infections.


In some cases, periodontal disease may run in families. If you have a family history of gum disease, there is a higher chance that you may develop this condition. Thus, you should inform your dentist of any family history of periodontal disease so that they can recommend the appropriate preventive measures.

Build-Up of Plaque and Tartar

Plaque is a sticky bacterial film that accumulates on your teeth, gums, and tongue. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, plaque can harden into tartar, which requires professional cleaning. Plaque and tartar trigger periodontal disease by irritating and inflaming your gums, caused by bacterial toxins released from them.

Health Conditions

Certain underlying medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease are linked to periodontal disease. High blood glucose levels weaken your immune system, making it easier for bacteria to grow, resulting in gum disease. Moreover, people with heart disease or respiratory problems are also vulnerable to gum infections.

Crooked or Crowded Teeth

Crooked or crowded teeth can make it more difficult to brush or floss, as well as fillings, crowns or dentures. Because the patient may not have easy access to these areas, plaque can accumulate much easier. A periodontist or a dentist can come up with the best ways to keep the teeth clean in these cases.


Different types of medicines might cause dry mouth and this may increase the risk for gum disease. For example, certain medications for high blood pressure and depression may cause dry mouth. If a patient does not produce enough saliva, they are more likely to develop plaque. This may result in tooth decay and cavities. Some medicines may also make the gums swell, making them more likely to catch plaque, including calcium channel blockers (for chest pain, high blood pressure or heart arrhythmias), immunosuppressants or medications to control seizures.


Living a stressful life sends a negative impact on your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections like periodontal disease. Stress can also trigger the production of cortisol, a hormone that increases inflammation throughout your body, including your gums. Therefore, managing your stress levels by engaging in physical activities, meditating, or seeking professional help can improve your overall health and prevent gum disease.

Is Gum Disease Contagious By Kissing?

The answer is yes. When you kiss, bacteria present in your mouth can transfer to your partner’s mouth. People with gum disease have more bacteria in their mouth than those who have healthy gums. Therefore, kissing someone with gum disease can increase the chances of transmitting the bacteria.

Diagnosing Periodontal Disease

Diagnosing periodontal disease involves a thorough examination of your teeth and gums. Your dentist will look for signs such as gum pockets, inflammation, and bone loss. They may also take x-rays to check the bone structure that supports your teeth.

Can Gum Disease Be Reversed?

Gum disease is a common problem, but it can be reversed with proper dental care, a healthy diet, and a healthy lifestyle. By practicing good oral hygiene, eating a balanced diet, avoiding harmful substances, and getting regular dental checkups and cleanings, you can help reverse and prevent gum disease. Additionally, remember to use natural remedies with caution and under the guidance of a licensed dental professional.

How Gum Disease is Treated

In most cases, the condition requires a periodontist to treat it. Treatment mainly aims to thoroughly clean the gaps around the teeth and prevent further damage to nearby bone and tissue. To achieve the best results, patients need to maintain a proper oral care routine as well.

Professional Cleaning and Scaling

The first step in treating periodontal disease is to undergo a professional cleaning and scaling procedure. This involves removing the build-up of plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums, which can cause inflammation and irritation. It also helps to smooth out rough spots on the teeth where bacteria can gather, making it easier to keep your teeth clean in the future. Depending on the severity of your periodontal disease, your dentist or periodontist may recommend multiple cleanings over a period of time to fully address the issue.


In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed in conjunction with professional cleaning and scaling to help kill off any remaining bacteria. This is particularly true for advanced cases of periodontal disease where bacteria have already caused extensive damage to the gums, tissues, and bone. Antibiotics can be taken orally or applied directly into the gums through a gel or mouthwash.

Gum Surgery

If the periodontal disease has progressed to a more serious stage, your dentist may recommend gum surgery to remove damaged tissue and bone. This procedure is called flap surgery or pocket reduction surgery and involves folding back the gum tissue and removing the bacteria underneath. The gum tissue is then secured back into place to promote healing. In some cases, bone and tissue grafts may be necessary to replace damaged areas.

Graft Surgery

For more advanced cases of periodontal disease, more serious surgical options may be necessary. Gum graft surgery can be performed to replace lost gum tissue, while bone graft surgery can help restore lost bone tissue. Both of these procedures can improve your overall oral health and reduce the risk of further damage.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is a newer, less invasive method for treating periodontal disease. This treatment involves using a special laser to remove diseased tissue and bacteria from the gums and teeth. It’s often a good option for those who are nervous about having traditional gum surgery, as it can be less painful and requires less recovery time.

Good Oral Hygiene

The most effective way to treat periodontal disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This means practicing good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing regularly, and using an antibacterial mouthwash. You should also aim to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings, as this can help catch any signs of periodontal disease early on.

Supplements for Periodontal Disease

Several different supplements may be useful for supporting oral health. However, they are not designed to treat periodontal disease or any other condition. Always consult a doctor before taking any supplements.


Probiotics are supplements that contain live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health. These bacteria and yeasts help to maintain a healthy balance of the microorganisms in your mouth. By taking a probiotic supplement, you can help to build and maintain a healthy microbial community in your mouth, which can reduce the risk of periodontal disease.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of healthy fat that is found in fish oil, flaxseed oil, and other sources. Studies have shown that taking omega-3 supplements can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can reduce the risk of periodontal disease. By taking an omega-3 supplement, you can help to improve your gum health and prevent gum disease.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that is found in every cell in your body. It helps to protect your cells from damage and can also help to improve your gum health. Several studies have shown that taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement can help to reduce gum inflammation and bleeding. By adding a coenzyme Q10 supplement to your daily routine, you can help to keep your gums healthy and prevent periodontal disease.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract is a supplement that is rich in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. Studies have shown that green tea extract can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can reduce the risk of periodontal disease. By taking a green tea extract supplement, you can help to improve your gum health and prevent gum disease.


Calcium is present in living and nonliving things and it’s the most abundant mineral in the body. However, the body cannot make it on its own, so it’s important to get it from food sources. One of the main benefits of calcium is that it supports strong bones and teeth. As a dietary supplement, take 2,400 mg of calcium citrate supplements with food once or twice a day after confirming the dosage with a doctor.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a very important nutrient that regulates calcium, contributing to healthy cartilage, bones and teeth. It also helps support the immune system so that the body can get rid of harmful bacteria that may cause disease, such as periodontitis. The recommended dosage for vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplements is 50 mg per day, using an accurate milligram scale to measure the dosage. Consult a doctor before using this supplement.


Rich in vitamin A, lycopene contributes to skin, eye and heart health. It may also lessen the impact of aging. Lycopene is also an antioxidant, which helps fight off free radicals that play a role in health conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. As a dietary supplement, take 200 mg of lycopene powder once or twice a day, or according to a doctor’s instructions.

Cranberry Extract

Cranberry extract is mainly used to maintain and promote good bladder health. It contains lots of useful phytonutrients and antioxidants. But it may also support dental health with flavonoids that can stop dental plaque from accumulating. Research states that it may also help treat gum disease The recommended dosage for cranberry extract powder is 400 mg one to three times a day with lots of water, or as instructed by a physician.

Beta Glucan 

Beta glucan is a type of soluble fiber from plants, oats, barley, algae, bacteria, fungi and yeast. As opposed to insoluble fiber, soluble fiber absorbs water to slow digestion and control blood sugar and cholesterol. While beta-glucan can provide various benefits for weight loss and heart health, it can also support the immune system, which may help the body fend off bacteria that can cause periodontal disease. As a dietary supplement, take 250 mg of beta glucan powder supplements once a day with food, after consulting a physician.


Zinc is the second most abundant mineral in the body behind iron. However, the body cannot produce it on its own, so patients need to get it from diet or from supplements. Zinc plays a key role in immune system defense, possibly combating inflammation and autoimmune diseases. It may help strengthen patients’ immune systems so that they can fight bacteria. Additionally, it is present in saliva, dental plaque and tooth enamel. Manufacturers also include zinc in toothpaste to support oral health. As a dietary supplement, take between 225 and 450 mg of zinc gluconate powder daily. Do not exceed 450 mg under any circumstances and consult a doctor before taking the supplement.

The Bottom Line

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, destroys the bone and soft tissue that supports the teeth. Left untreated, it damages the teeth and gums so much that the patient can lose their teeth. It results from bacteria that accumulate in the mouth and form plaque, a sticky membrane that forms over the teeth (x). If plaque isn’t removed, it may toughen and turn into tartar. Signs include swollen gums, an unusual taste in the mouth, bleeding, pain and receding gums.

Treatment usually involves a periodontist thoroughly cleaning the area below the gums to remove plaque and prevent the infection from spreading. In advanced cases, the periodontist may need to perform surgery to regenerate the bones and tissue in the mouth. Without treatment, periodontal disease can eventually cause tooth loss. However, patients can prevent periodontal diseases with proper dental and oral hygiene. There are also supplements that may help support oral and immune health that patients may try. However, they are not a proper treatment for periodontitis or any other condition. Always consult a doctor before adding any supplement to a health regimen.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Author: James D