Reversing Gum Disease: Oral Health and Vitamin C

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH



Vitamin C for reversing gum diseaseCommon unresolved dental problems include repaired but still toxic root canals, refractory periodontitis, tooth abscesses, decayed teeth, gingivitis, improperly extracted teeth with smoldering infections, leaking mercury fillings, and dental material sensitivity reactions in or around the oral cavity. If left untreated, these oral pathological conditions contribute to increasing systemic bacteria count and thus a higher toxin load in the body. Researchers wonder if reversing gum disease and other oral conditions is a possibility. Though, the evidence on the negative effects of bad oral bacteria on your health are clear.

Research has shown that dental plaques can contain more than 400 species of bacteria, the differing strains of which are responsible for various types of oral disease. These bacteria produce toxins that irritate the gums and stimulate an inflammatory response. The body, especially the adrenal glands, responds by increasing production of cortisol in order to suppress the inflammation and keep the toxin rampage at bay. If not reduced over time, this chronic increased cortisol demand burden needed to overcome toxins may weaken the adrenals, leading to Adrenal Fatigue.

Systemic illnesses and Adrenal Fatigue are commonly associated with frequent and repeated infections and slow healing. The immune weakness that results from altered adrenal function also sets the stage for pathogens responsible for oral pathology to fester unabated, resulting in greater debilitation.

It is not uncommon to experience sudden onset of adrenal crisis not long after a dental procedure where large amounts of bacterial toxins may have been released. Similarly, significant improvement in overall health has been seen in patients with concurrent poor oral health after reversing gum disease or other oral pathology.

Periodontal disease is also strongly linked to various kinds of autoimmune disorders, in which immune factors in the body attack the person’s own cells and tissue – in this case, those in the gums. This makes reversing gum disease important for not just your oral health, but your overall health as well. The autoimmune function is again modulated to a large degree by cortisol, a product of the adrenals. The bacteria that form plaques and tartars release toxins that stimulate the immune system to overproduce powerful infection-fighting factors called cytokines. Cytokines are important for healing in moderate amounts. In excess, however, they can cause inflammation and severe destructive inflammatory reactions that require cortisol to balance.

Certain herpes viruses (herpes simplex and varicella-zoster virus – the cause of chickenpox and shingles) are known to be causes of gingivitis and may play a role in the onset or progression of some types of periodontal disease, including aggressive and severe chronic and refractory periodontal disease. A weak adrenal system exposes the body to be more prone to recurrent viral infections and makes attempts at reversing gum disease less likely to be successful.

Periodontal diseases may exacerbate or even cause type 2 diabetes. People with periodontal diseases have 15 times the risk of developing diabetes in comparison to the non-diabetic population. Multiple pathways are involved. Some evidence has suggested that the bacteria causing periodontal disease may enter the blood stream and activate cytokines, the damaging factors in the immune system, which then may even destroy cells in the pancreas, where insulin is produced. In addition, toxins released by bacteria can weaken the adrenal glands, resulting in metabolic imbalances that can lead to Metabolic Syndrome, glucose intolerance, and diabetes.

Reversing gum disease and heart disease togetherPeriodontal disease has also been linked to a 1.5 to 4 fold increased risk for heart disease, coronary artery occlusion, and stroke. The more severe the periodontal disease, the higher the risk. In one study, 85% of heart attack patients had periodontal disease in comparison to 29% of people with no heart problems. In another study of patients with hypertension, severe periodontal disease was associated with damage on the left side of the heart. In addition, high cholesterol blood levels have been associated with chronic periodontal disease. In addition to the inflammatory cascade as a prime mechanism of pathology, it is interesting to note that the coronary arteries are the first arteries to be exposed to toxins from the oral cavity after blood leaves the mouth (carrying toxins) and enters the heart through the venous system and exits the heart. A low intake of vitamin C has been associated with a higher risk of heart disease. Some ortho-molecular researchers now consider coronary artery disease synonymous with focal scurvy at the coronary arteries, and for good reasons. Vitamin C, with lysine and proline, are key building blocks of collagen. Breakdown of collagen has been strongly linked to inflammatory responses resulting in plaque accumulation and high LDL in the coronary arteries.

Reversing Gum Disease with Vitamin C

Lastly, it has been found that people who consume less than the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, 60 mg (about one orange), were one and a half times more likely to develop severe gingivitis than those who consumed more than 180 mg each day. While only 65 mg of vitamin C intake a day is all that is needed to prevent scurvy, this is hardly sufficient for optimal adrenal and oral health.

Those suffering from poor gum healing do well with high doses of vitamin C. Vitamin C promotes collagen synthesis and is a key factor in wound healing. It is also one of the best natural anti-toxins available. Vitamin C is a wonderful electron donor because of its water-soluble properties and thus readily bio-available to the cells. Toxins deplete electron stores at the cell. Cell death occurs when electrons are depleted. Having sufficient electrons inside the cell reverses potential cell death brought on by bacterial toxins prevalent in the oral pathological states.

Vitamin C comes in many forms. Each form of vitamin C has its own properties and characteristics. It is available in various oral delivery systems as well, from capsule, tablet, liquid, intravenous, powder, to effervescent forms. Absorption from the GI tract to hepatic circulation varies from 5-18%. A bowel tolerance level is usually reached from 5,000- 10,000 mg, where harmless diarrhea occurs.

Because over 80% of ordinary oral vitamin C passes through the gastrointestinal tract unabsorbed, ultimate bio-availability to the cell is severely limited. This has been a great challenge. The electron donation and thus toxin-reversal and antibacterial effect of vitamin C can only be relied upon when administered in very high doses. Up until recently, intravenous administration was the only option in delivering high enough doses to the cells for reversing gum disease. In the dental setting, IV vitamin C is administered by biologically oriented dentists prior to dental surgery as a preventative anti-toxin. Such prophylactic doses range from 30 to 50 grams IV vitamin C slow infusion. This is a time consuming process and is expensive.

LET vitamin C for reversing gum diseaseIn recent years, the advance of nanotechnology and liposomal encapsulation technology offers a significantly enhanced oral liquid delivery system with superior absorption from the small intestine. This cutting edge liposomal delivery system dramatically improves bio-availability and is by far the best oral form of vitamin C delivery available. This liposomal delivery system is ideally suited for the out-patient setting because high doses can be administered easily orally and inexpensively. Because absorption occurs at the small intestine and the stomach is bypassed, gastric irritation is minimal if at all present. Diarrhea is also significantly reduced because most of the vitamin C is absorbed and does not remain in the GI tract.

Liposomal Vitamin C Options

Commercially available liposomal vitamin C, such as LipoNano™ C, is a good choice. The dosage varies from person to person, but most do well with 3,000 to 6,000 mg a day for Adrenal Fatigue. When used in a minor surgical setting (such as a dental operation), a loading dose of 6,000 – 12,000 mg of such liposomal encapsulated vitamin C immediately before, followed by 4,000 – 8,000 mg a day for 10-14 days following the procedure is highly supportive of and can be used in conjunction with or in place of antibiotics as indicated.


Reversing gum disease

DrLam.com
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Hello from Sweden. I have just a couple of weeks ago started with the adrenalin yoga, and already feel I`m making progress and I feel in my body that it is good for me. I am also reading the book little by little. It feels very right for me. It is also a big comfort for me to know you are out there in the world helping people like me. WisheI was taught this adrenal yoga when I was little.

Thank you for now!!!!!

Love and gratitude




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13 Comments

  • scott Wong says:

    I am diagnosed with chronic gum disease and seems relasp recently.. causing severe bone loss. Just came to know vitamin C can helps in my immunity system. Likely that’s the cause since I am a diabetic and immunity system naturally is weaker. So can recommend the dosage for this? Is Sodium Ascorbate the correct form? Does Vitamin C helps me or save me?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      The dosage varies from person to person. It can range from 1,000-20,000 mg of ascorbic acid and can be too much for your gastric system. Better delivery system such as Liponano C will only requires 1-3 teaspoon a day.

      Dr Lam

  • T. says:

    Thank you Dorine. I read about vit. c, proline and lysine and plaque in the arteries in this article. Is there a correlation between lysine proline and its potential benefits to plaque/tartar and gum health? Please explain.

  • T. says:

    Thank you for the topic. I could use more information,products or ideas to improve gum and oral health.(ie. baking soda, diluted hydrogen peroxide, green tea,ubiquinol etc.) Menopause has affected my oral health. Seeking to have noticeable improvement in gums, plaque, tartar and protect my teeth moving forward through menopause.

  • Tammy says:

    Thank for presenting this topic. I hope to find simpler solutions soon including vitamin k to obtain a happy dental routine and dental health. The perimenopause and menopause shift is a giant challenge in obtaining good gum health for me. I have to spend for too much time and energy on its maintenance. I hope to find tips to improve my dental health besides, an electric toothbrush and regular toothbrush, three different floss tools and expensive dental rinses.

  • Kim says:

    Helena from Sweden,
    I believe you are right! Just this week I was wondering why schools are not teaching health issues such as adrenal fatigue. But then again, here in the states, many schools have dropped teaching health altogether. It’s teachable and avoidable. Dr. Lam, you have in part, the future health of our nation in your textbook! If I were stronger, I would offer to teach this!!

  • Sho says:

    Are there any oral hygiene products that make use of vitamin C?

  • Lydia says:

    There are many different forms and delivery systems of Vitamin C. What is the best combination for prevention and anti-aging purposes?

    • Dr. Lam says:

      For anti-aging purposes, my Liponano C is my first choice as it offers maximum delivery and does not take energy to absorb. It is available at SupplementClinic.com

      Dr Lam

  • Mary Lou says:

    I’ve always had dental issues and have always suspected it has affected my health negatively… never realized something like vitamin C could help!

    • Newsletter says:

      Vitamin C is excellent. Most people are not aware that the oral cavity is so full of bugs and vitamin C can help. In fact, studies have shown oral health is strongly correlated with heart health. Poor oral hygiene can lead to bacteria overgrowth which traveles to the coronary arteries and cause inflammation, contributing to blockage and heart attack.

      Dr Lam.