Maintaining Strong Immunity and Good Oral Health During the COVID Pandemic

Introduction

Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, having a good diet and a strong immune system has become more important than ever. Research shows that many of us fall short of the essential nutrients from our diet. Due to the below-average diet, obesity and poor oral hygiene are primary health issues.

According to a recent article, Indians on average eat more carbohydrates, less protein, fruit, and vegetables. There is also a rise in sugar and processed food intake. Moreover, as we age, there is a steady decline in nutrient absorption and an increase in medication intake. This can reduce or even stop the absorption of vital nutrients.

It has been observed that malnourished patients don’t obtain good oral health, no matter how much they floss and brush. Dentists that recommend dental nutraceuticals report that improvement is visible in patients only after invasive treatments and lower pocket depth scores on recare visits.

The question arises – is the evidence anecdotal, or does a credible study exist on the results of patients that are suffering from periodontal disease? The answer is yes, it does exist. A double-blind study conducted at Loma Linda University highlights the effects of using nutraceutical Periotherapy.

The study was conducted on 63 patients with 4-7 mm pockets. They were assessed after 60 days to verify the effectiveness of the supplement. The results were first peer-reviewed and later published in Compendium at pharmaden.net.

The primary goal of this trial was to monitor the improvement in the patient’s gingival plaque, bleeding, and pocket depths without performing treatments. The average pocket depth was minimized by almost 1.37 mm. The plaque indices and bleeding were also reduced significantly. The Periotherapy nutraceutical offered the patients a systemic and noninvasive treatment that delivered verifiable results.

BONE REMINERALIZATION & OSTEOPOROSIS PROTECTION

In dentistry, bone health has always been paramount. The two important elements for bone development are vitamin D and calcium. But how much of these does our body require? The latest research suggests going higher on vitamin D and lower on calcium. The recommendations are 800-1000 IU of vitamin D2 per day and 500-700mg of calcium per day.

Recent studies also suggest that calcium and vitamin D consumption does not minimize the chances of bone fractures. However, one can consume vitamin K2 (MK4/MK7) to lower bone fractures. It was found that MK4 reversed and stopped bone loss, reduced fracture by 80% and helped in the growth of strong bones.

K1 and K2 aided in the treatment of osteoporosis, and K2 helped in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and coronary calcification.

What is Nutraceutical & How it Can Help?

The term nutraceutical was coined by Stephen De Felice in 1989. Stephen, chairman of the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine, defined nutraceutical as a food that provides health and medical benefits, including treatment and prevention of disease.

Before the implementation and advent of nutraceuticals to dental procedures, the only systemic care that a patient could receive were specific antibiotics that could target the enzyme collagenase and bacteria. However, the overuse of antibiotics can impede the immune system. Suggesting a nutraceutical to a patient is considered to be a conservative and safer alternative.

Unlike antibiotics, nutraceuticals can prohibit the release of multiple enzymes such as collagenase. According to research, nutraceuticals can also effectively assist in enhancing soft-tissue healing, reducing plaque buildup, and improving the patient’s immune system.

According to a recent survey, dentists who recommended nutraceuticals reported a significant improvement in their patients’ tissue health (pocket depth, plaque, and bleeding). Dentists said that they preferred recommending nutraceuticals after perio surgery, implant placement, extractions, and orthodontics. The healing proved to be much faster and predictable when they suggested nutraceuticals as an adjunct to treatment.

Conclusion

Due to the COVID pandemic, many patients are reaching out to healthcare professionals who can incorporate preventive care to maintain a strong immune system and good health. The same vitamins that are recommended to relieve COVID symptoms can also be recommended to ensure good oral health. These vitamins are vitamins B, C, D, and zinc. Today, people prefer health professionals who practice prevention and use less medicine, fewer antibiotics and perform fewer surgeries.

Sources:

https://www.dentistrytoday.com/viewpoint/10748-oral-health-covid-19-and-systemic-considerations

 

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