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The Heart and Gum Disease And CoQ10 Link


People notice our smile and our teeth before almost anything else. Our daily lives including what we drink and eat can dull even the brightest smile. But is that the only thing affecting the brightness and strength of our teeth?

Is it poor oral hygiene or poor nutrition that causes gum and heart disease? There is no doubt that good hygiene is an advantage but is it the whole picture?

Researchers admit that they don’t know the exact causal link between heart disease and gum disease but periodontitis seems to influence the occurrence and severity of coronary artery disease and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

What’s the link? If you don’t look after the hygiene of your mouth tartar builds up on your teeth and irritates your gums. This bacteria-loving tartar turns to plaque, triggering body-wide inflammation. Next, LDL cholesterol-related plaque builds up in your arteries, doubling your risk of heart disease. 

While there is little research to show exactly how heart disease and gum disease are related more than that, it has been hypothesised that periodontal bugs (pathogens) could enter the blood stream, invade the blood vessel walls and ultimately cause atherosclerosis. Alternatively the theory is that there is an increased plasma level of inflammation causing arterial problems. This seems the most likely connection.

Whatever the cause it would appear that treatment should be mandatory for all of us to ensure that we reduce the risk factor of heart disease from dental problems. However it occurs, there is a definite link between heart health and healthy gums and what we do externally to them does have an impact. We’d like to show you several easy steps which you can use to reduce gum damage, apart from the flossing so many dentists recommend.

Many wholistic dentists now insist that nutritional supplementation, including Co Enzyme Q10, is essential in all dental problem cases. As responsible adults surely it’s time to sit up and take notice? Dr Bill Kellner-Read is one dentist who speaks out for improved nutrition for better dental health. He says there is a real dilemma that besets the dental profession.

Dr Bill Kellner-Read: “Have we gone far enough with our treatment or should we also look at nutritional support?” “Abuse the mouth, you abuse the body. Mistreat the mouth, you mistreat the body. Have sickness in your mouth, you have sickness in your body” says Dr Bill every chance he gets. “This was the message that I wanted to get across and my public speaking and books have emerged from that.”

As a Red belt (Black equivalent) ex Kung Fu instructor, dentist Dr Bill Kellner-Read understands only too well the need for balance within the whole body system. With an increase in the number of people looking to heal themselves through many of the eastern arts and philosophies he decided it would be a good idea to look at dental health from this viewpoint too.

Dr Bill began to look at causes other than dental, including the materials he was using in practice that could adversely affect his patients. Fluoride compounds, mercury and root fillings came under scrutiny, as did oral hygiene products and the area of nutrition. What he found horrified him.

“It’s all about values … When I joined the noble profession of dentistry in 1973 I thought that I would spend my life drilling and filling. It wasn’t long before I realised that there is much more to dentistry and life than is taught at dental school. All the time we worked on models of teeth in a phantom head, people didn’t get in the way! The teeth didn’t moan, didn’t groan, didn’t ask questions they just sat there “fat, dumb and happy!” Then I qualified and realised that life happens.”

“Textbooks are a guide, seminars signposts, but life is the real teacher. As patient after patient, person after person defied the textbooks I came to realise that I needed my own set of values, understanding of situations and treatment modalities in order to survive in dentistry and life. I had to treat the whole person.”

The Nutritional Awakening

It was not long before Dr Bill was introduced to the health concepts of Hans Selye, an Austrian-Hungarian endocrinologist whose famous and revolutionary concept of stress opened countless new avenues of treatment for disease. Selye was Founder and Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the University of Montreal and has been regarded as `the father of stress`.

We think its great to see other professionals who realise that while tooth cleaning is important so is nutrition. With heart disease, stroke and diabetes now being linked to dental disease you too … surely could not fail to realise the nutritional connection for your overall health. Find the best choice for oral health needs at

Coenzyme Q-10: Vital for life itself and the heart / gum connection

CoQ10 is found throughout the body and in higher amounts in heart, kidney, liver and pancreatic tissues. CoQ10 plays an important role in the production of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP–the body’s energy currency. CoQ10 also functions as an antioxidant and in several metabolic pathways. CoQ10 is manufactured by the body and is also ingested in the diet, especially from animal products.

Coenzyme Q-10 and periodontal disease

In many natural dentist clinics, Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ10) is widely held as a treatment for periodontal disease.

Much of the argument for using CoQ10 in the treatment of periodontal disease is based on a study that found reduced CoQ10-enzyme activity in gingival tissue (gums).

Furthermore, the investigators in this study also noted decreased CoQ10 activity in the subjects’ leukocytes, presumably signifying systemic deficiency of this nutrient, which they proposed was a contributor to periodontitis.

A small collection of studies from the mid-1970’s demonstrates some effectiveness for this nutrient in gum disease, and a more recent Japanese study (utilizing topically-applied CoQ10) found “significant improvements” in various measures of periodontal disease progression; these investigators concluded that CoQ10 is a useful treatment for periodontal disease as a singular treatment or in combination with other nonsurgical therapies.

Coenzyme Q-10 and heart disease

Called the silent killer as many of us find out too late that we have a problem. It is the number one killer in America and the UK. It killed 233,000 people in the UK in 2003, yet what are we doing about it and how can dentistry help? Gum disease has been linked to cardiovascular disease, (American Academy of Periodontology, 2002) stroke and diabetes.

The relationship between coenzyme q10 and heart health can be summed up in one sentence – Every muscle in the body, particularly the heart, the muscle that has most demand for coenzyme q10, cannot function without this vitamin, which is vital for life itself.

Though it be an important cofactor in the smooth running of cardiovascular function, it is not stressed enough in the opinion of many conscientious doctors, who have seen a coenzyme q10 deficiency in their patients when treating serious heart conditions.

In a number of studies, CoQ10 has been show to be especially useful for people with heart failure. Since the heart muscle has the most mitochondria of any muscle in the body, boosting the CoQ10 levels in people with heart problems has been shown to help their hearts pump harder and better and circulate their blood better.

Studies show that heart failure patients who take CoQ10 feel better overall and have to spend less time in the hospital (in recovery).

The Maryland Medical Research Centre For Integrated Medicine has been looking at research on Co Enzyme Q10, and here are their findings.

• Improves Blood Pressure – CoQ10 could help lower blood pressure, especially if it is already high because of a heart problem. CoQ10 helps the heart work better, and when the heart pumps more efficiently, blood pressure goes down. CoQ10 could help lower blood pressure that is high for no particular reason (essential hypertension). Research shows that about half of people with essential hypertension are low on CoQ10. Several clinical studies involving small numbers of people suggest that CoQ10 may lower blood pressure. However, it may take 4 – 12 weeks before you will see any beneficial effects.

• Reduces Heart Failure (HF) – Levels of CoQ10 are low in people with congestive heart failure (HF), a debilitating disease that occurs when the heart is not able to pump blood effectively. This can cause blood to pool in parts of the body, such as the lungs and legs. Information from several clinical studies suggests that CoQ10 supplements help reduce swelling in the legs, enhance breathing by reducing fluid in the lungs, and increase exercise capacity in people with HF.

• Improves Diabetes – CoQ10 supplements may improve heart health and blood sugar and help manage high cholesterol and high blood pressure in individuals with diabetes. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease are all common problems associated with diabetes. Despite some concern that CoQ10 may cause a sudden and dramatic drop in blood sugar (called hypoglycemia), two recent clinical studies in people with diabetes given CoQ10, 200 mg 2 times daily, showed no hypoglycemic response. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor or registered dietitian before using CoQ10.

• Improves Cholesterol Levels – CoQ10 may help keep cholesterol from oxidizing, which in turn keeps cholesterol from blocking arteries. Taking CoQ10 supplements can correct the deficiency caused by statin medications without affecting the medication’s positive effects on cholesterol levels. Plus, studies show that CoQ10 supplementation may decrease the muscle pain associated with statin treatment.

• Improving Immunity – CoQ10 levels drop when there is serious illness. Taking supplements may help the immune system to produce more infection-fighting antibodies

• Clears up periodontal (gum) disease (gingivitis)- Gum disease is a widespread problem that is associated with swelling, bleeding, pain, and redness of the gums. Clinical studies show that people with gum disease tend to have low levels of CoQ10 in their gums. In a few clinical studies involving small numbers of subjects, CoQ10 supplements caused faster healing and tissue repair. CoQ10 is used in mouth rinse products for this condition. Additional studies in humans are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of CoQ10 when used together with traditional therapy for periodontal disease.

• Improves athletic performance – athletic performance can be improved by using CoQ10 because it helps with energy production in the cells. There is some evidence that CoQ10 is a safe, natural way of improving athletic endurance, and the better shape a person is in initially, the better it works, although it still does also help the couch potatoes too

 Improved energy – taking CoQ10 can help improve overall energy levels. This is good for people who work long hours, the elderly, people recovering from cancer treatments and people with chronic fatigue syndrome

 Assists in heart surgery – Clinical research indicates that introducing CoQ10 prior to heart surgery, including bypass surgery and heart transplantation, can reduce damage caused by free radicals, strengthen heart function, and lower the incidence of irregular heart beat (arrhythmias) during the recovery phase.

• Repairs heart damage caused by chemotherapy – Several clinical studies suggest that CoQ10 may help prevent heart damage caused by certain chemotherapy drugs (namely adriamycin or other athracycline medications). More studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of CoQ10 in preventing heart damage in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Talk to your doctor before adding any supplements to your regimen if you are undergoing chemotherapy.

• Helps with Breast cancer – Studies of women with breast cancer suggest that CoQ10 supplements (in addition to conventional treatment and a nutritional regimen including other antioxidants and essential fatty acids) may shrink tumors, reduce pain associated with the condition, and cause partial remission in some individuals. However, the beneficial effects these women experienced cannot be attributed to CoQ10 alone. Additional antioxidants used in these studies include vitamins C, E, and selenium.

Preliminary clinical studies also suggest that CoQ10 may:

  • Improve immune function in individuals with immune deficiencies (such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS) and chronic infections (such as yeast, bacteria, and viral infections)
  • Increase sperm motility leading to enhanced fertility
  • Be used as part of the treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease
  • Reduce damage from stroke
  • Boost athletic performance
  • Enhance physical activity in people with fatigue syndromes
  • Improve exercise tolerance in individuals with muscular dystrophy
  • Improve symptoms of tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
  • Be beneficial in cosmetics for healthy skin
  • Delay the aging process and increase longevity

Clinical research in all of these areas is underway to determine whether CoQ10 can be safely and effectively used in people with these health problems and needs.

Kellner-Read has written a book, Fresh Breath Ideas which looks at combining dental and nutritional products together in the fight against gum and periodontal disease.To find out what products he recommends read the book. To order your copy, just email us here.

Bugs, nutrition or both – what’s the problem: Let’s look at the bug theory…. Gum bugs cause tooth loss and periodontal disease, this is well known.

The stated purpose of periodontal therapy is to assist in keeping the existing teeth in the mouth in a fully functioning and maintainable order, in a symptom free, pain free environment by elminating the pathogenic microflora under the gums.

These bugs are responsible for localised infection and inflammation which eventually leads to the destruction of the tissues supporting the teeth. Common treatment includes brushing, flossing, scaling by the dentist and administration of a local target specific antibiotic. One of the tetracycline family, Doxycycline hyclate can be flowed through a target specific cannula into the periodontal pocket says Professor David Hoexter D.M.D. The slow release antibiotic functions to fight periodontitis more conservatively, more comfortably and more accurately.

But do you want to take antibiotics?

Deep periodontal pockets increase risk of abnormal ECG

Chicago – 2004: According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with deep periodontal pockets have an increased risk for electrocardiographic abnormalities. In a study carried out in Japan, it was found that severe periodontal disease with loss of attachment of the periodontal ligament had a significant risk for ECG abnormalities.

What about the nutritional link?

Their studies showed that CoQ10 was essential for healthy gums and heart

Many studies have shown that people suffering from different forms of heart disease are deficient in CoQ10 and improve with CoQ10 supplements. Also that people with chronic gum disease tend to have low CoQ10 levels and improve with CoQ10.

CoQ10 is effective in treating aging, allergies, asthma, candidiasis, cardiovascular disease, deafness, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, impaired immunity multiple sclerosis, obesity, gum disease, respiratory disease.

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