Blueberries may fight gum disease

Blueberries may fight gum disease

Gum disease is a common condition in the U.S. The condition ranges from gum inflammation to more serious diseases than can cause tissue and bone damage. Gum disease is caused by the bacteria in our mouth, which forms plaque. If plaque is not taken care of, it can turn into tartar, which then can turn into gum disease.

In the serious cases of gum disease, antibiotics may be prescribed. Now, research from the American Chemical Society shows that blueberries may fight gum disease, and reduce the need for antibiotics.

To treat tartar and gum disease, dentists usually scrape off the tartar and sometimes use antibiotics to treat the condition. Recently however, medical researchers have begun to look at natural compounds with antibacterial compounds instead.

The benefits of some natural compounds are that they usually don’t contain harmful side effects, and they don’t contribute to antibiotic resistance.

The issue with taking too many antibiotics is that they kill good bacteria in the gut, which makes it more difficult to fight infections in the future. The immune system gets used to them and creates antibiotic resistance.

A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that in 2010, health care providers prescribed “258.0 million courses of antibiotics in 2010, or 833 prescriptions per 1000 persons.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now reporting that the infectious organisms that antibiotics usually target have adapted to the drugs, because they have been used for so long.

Daniel Grenier and his team of researchers wanted to see if polyphenols from blueberries could help fight Fusobacterium nucleatum, one of the main bacteria species in gum disease.

The study abstract reads:

The polyphenol-rich extracts successfully inhibited the growth of F. nucleatum, as well as its ability to form biofilms. It also blocked a molecular pathway involved in inflammation, a key part of gum disease.”

The researchers are developing a device that could slowly release the blueberry extract into teeth after deep cleaning to fight gum disease.

The study showing that blueberries may fight gum disease was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Antibiotic / Antimicrobial Resistance.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 04 Mar. 2014. Web. 7 Sep. 2015.
2. “Blueberry Extract Could Help Fight Gum Disease and Reduce Antibiotic Use.” ACS.org. American Chemical Society, 2 Sept. 2015. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.
3. “Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium Angustifolium Ait.) Polyphenols Target Fusobacterium Nucleatum and the Host Inflammatory Response: Potential Innovative Molecules for Treating Periodontal Diseases.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (ACS Publications). ACS Publications, 4 Aug. 2015. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.
4. “Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.

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