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Can an Apple a Day Keep Gum Disease at Bay?

Yes! Or an onion if you prefer. Studies tell us these foods are rich in a powerful antioxidant called Quercetin, which has been shown to reduce the inflammation that drives the development of periodontal disease (gum disease). Quercetin is not produced by the body, so for centuries we’ve relied on fruits and vegetables to get the amount we need to stay healthy.

What are Antioxidants?

Everyone from doctors to advertisers are extolling the health benefits of antioxidants. But what are they, and what do they do?

Simply put, antioxidants are molecules whose job is to police oxidants (free radicals), keeping them from overproducing and injuring cells in the body.

Oxidants and antioxidants maintain a beneficial balance in healthy tissue. If, however, an infection develops – such as the ones between teeth and gums that cause periodontal disease – that balance is upset. The body’s immune system produces more free radicals to attack the bacteria that’s causing infection. This results in inflammation that usually disappears when the wound is healed.

But if the free radicals are being produced faster than antioxidants can control them, they’ll increase inflammation and start to attack and destroy healthy cells. In the mouth, that means the gums, bones and ligaments that support your teeth.  

How the Antioxidant Quercetin Helps

It’s up to the antioxidants such as Quercetin seek out and neutralize the now-dangerous free radicals.  Envision it as a game of Pac-Man, with the good molecule chomping the bad one to stop its progress, and you can see how invaluable antioxidants are.

Quercetin is one of the most powerful and beneficial antioxidants for periodontic health. In shutting down free radicals it can diminish or even reverse the chronic inflammation that characterizes periodontal disease. Quercetin can help save cells from being damaged by oxidants, slowing the destruction of gums, bones and ligaments. 

The body will always send oxidants to tackle infections. Anti-oxidants will always be needed to keep them in check. My advice? It’s up to us to add Quercetin-heavy foods that help keep them both in balance.  And who doesn’t like an apple?

If you have inflammation or bleeding gums, please call us today for an evaluation. No referral necessary.

Choose Your Foods

Maintaining Quercetin in your diet is more effective than taking a supplement. Eat the foods raw and without peeling (or lightly peeling) for the greatest benefit.

Apples                                                                   Red bell peppers

Dark grapes                                                           Broccoli

Cherries                                                                 Black tea

Berries                                                                   Nuts


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