What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a chronic infection and inflammation of the mouth that is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. Gum disease symptoms include bleeding, puffy gums in the early stages and bad breath and loose teeth in the more advanced stages. Besides tooth loss, gum disease is a causative agent for other inflammatory chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to causing infections in the gums and jawbone, periodontal bacteria can spread from the mouth to other parts of the body via lymphatics, blood circulation and the nervous system. P. Gingivalis, the keystone pathogen of gum disease, secrete gingipains which are highly neurotoxic in the brain. Several studies have shown that blocking the toxic effects of gingipains can restore the health of damaged brain cells.
What is Propolis?
Propolis is a natural and non-toxic substance derived from bees that is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. The wondrous honey bees make propolis by collecting sap-like resins from flowers and trees. These resins are used by plants for protection against bacteria, fungi and insects. The honey bees return to the hive and mix the collected resin with saliva and beeswax to make propolis. Also called bee glue, propolis protects the hive from infection and even cover sharp areas in the hive that can injure the delicate wings of the honey bees, This gift from nature contains flavonoids that are anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial that are worth exploring for human conditions.
There is a potential for allergies as propolis is a plant product.
How Can Propolis Help Gum Disease Symptoms?
More and more patients are seeking natural approaches to treating their gum disease and avoiding tooth loss. These natural products are sought to either reverse gum disease symptoms in the early stages called gingivitis, or to increase the effectiveness of treatments such as LANAP laser periodontal therapy.
Since the resin that is used to make propolis has anti microbial properties, propolis is an attractive natural approach for fighting gum disease. Studies have shown that propolis has strong antibacterial activity against P. gingivalis.
But Does It Actually Work?
A review of the literature supports the use of propolis for fighting gum disease symptoms. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials were very supportive of the use of propolis in reducing gum disease symptoms.
With regards to Alzheimer’s disease and periodontal disease, Propolis has also been shown to reduce the neurotoxicity P. gingivalis in the brain. This may be an attractive natural approach to reduce neuroinflammation in the brain in patients with chronic periodontitis.
How Can Propolis Be Used For Oral Health Benefits?
Propolis products available for oral use include propolis mouthwash, propolis glue and propolis throat spray.
Propolis mouthwash has been shown in several studies to reduce gum disease symptoms like bleeding. This can be very helpful in the early stages of gum disease called gingivitis. For more advanced cases where the bacteria and inflammation have caused loss of supporting jawbone, it is unlikely that propolis mouthwash alone can reverse gum disease. LANAP laser periodontal therapy is FDA-approved to reverse gum disease even in advanced stages. Propolis mouthwash can be used in conjunction with LANAP to prolong the benefits of laser therapy and reduce disease recurrence.
Propolis throat spray can be used for scratchy throats and to fight viral upper respiratory tract infections in the early stages.
Propolis glue can provide relief from mouth ulcers like canker sores and oral herpes outbreaks.
Be sure to research the brand of product you purchase. Some products may contain synthetic chemicals in the colonies or the bee farm may have large pesticide use.
Propolis offers hope as a natural remedy for gum disease symptoms, especially in the early stages of gingivitis where the gums are bleeding but the jawbone is still intact.
If you or a loved one are suffering from gum disease or you have been told you need to have teeth pulled call Dr. Sharona Dayan today to see if LANAP laser periodontal therapy can benefit you along with natural remedies for gum disease.