Times of Oman
Nov 29, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 09:31 AM GMT
Intake of Vitamin C curbs gum and heart diseases
February 5, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Photo - Shutterstock Images

Did you know…

You can curb gum and heart diseases naturally by using Vitamin-C.

The Growth of Gum Disease
Gum disease begins with whitish or pale yellow film on your teeth.When the bacteria in the mouth is mixed with food remnants and saliva, it results in formation of plaque. If this plaque is not flossed or not brushed, it hardens into tartar below your gums, where you can't see it.

This leads to gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease), which is marked by inflamed, swollen gums. As time passes on, gingivitis develops into periodontitis, which is signified by dark red, painful, bleeding gums. It affects the gums, deep tissues and the bones around the teeth.

The Gum-Heart Connection

Surprisingly, the American Academy of Periodontology reports people who have gum disease are twice as likely to get heart disease. Another study confirmed that the more the presence of dental issues, like missing teeth and cavities, the more the chances of getting heart disease.

According to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, people with higher blood levels of oral disease-causing bacteria had more risks of getting atherosclerosis in the carotid artery in neck. Clogging of the arteries or Atherosclerosis raises the likelihood of stroke.

Researchers are not sure how the gum diseases influence stroke risk and heart attack. However, they do know that the bacteria can move from the gums and into the bloodstream where it is stored as artery plaques and increases the likelihood of heart attack causing clogging.

Vitamin C for Healthy Gums

In the Journal of Periodontology, it is mentioned that individuals who consume less than 60 mg of vitamin C daily are 1.5 times more prone to get gum diseases as compared with people who consume 180mg or more per day. Sailors of 18th century used the vitamin C trick to maintain healthy gums during long voyages. They had limes to guard their teeth against bleeding.

Vitamin C is an anti-inflammatory nutrient that binds cells together by helping to build connective tissue with collagen. Vitamin C also increases bone regrowth, thereby helping to restore healthy gums and teeth.Rich sources of vitamin C are coconut water, citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, oranges and red peppers. It is best to avoid chewable vitamin C as they are highly acidic and can wear off tooth enamel if taken longer. Instead, non-acidic vitamin C (calcium ascorbate) in white powder form is preferable. Place half teaspoon of it on your gums, wait for 10 minutes and then rinse. Another supplement is vitamin C chewing gum that according to latest studies, decreases plaque and emerging signs of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

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