About a year ago I was asked to evaluate a patient who had bleeding gums, which was not responding to daily, good oral hygiene and had not responded to a deep cleaning by the hygienist in his dentist’s office.
This was a 71-year old gentleman who had ongoing gum issues for over 3 years. When I spoke to him, he did not complain of pain all the time, but he explained that his gums would bleed when he brushed his teeth and were a little sore. He wanted a quick fix like an antibiotic.
I told him we first needed to rule out infections and any blood diseases including serious diseases like cancers. As I questioned him, he told me that he had bouts of diarrhea and bloating. He also complained of acid reflux disease for which his medical doctor put him on an acid-reducing prescription. When I questioned him about his eating habits, he told me he had a healthy bowl of oatmeal every morning and usually some pasta dish with dinner. I suggested that some of his problem could come from the grains that he was eating.
He immediately dismissed my idea because he had been eating this way his entire life, and that obviously could not be at the cause of his gum sores. He left my office to seek other opinions.
Then several months later, I saw him again. He had seen an oral surgeon and then his own medical doctor who put him on anti-inflammatory prescription drugs. These meds did not resolve his bleeding gums. He finally allowed me to make my suggestions.
I had him fill out a 3-day food journal listing everything he ate. He also had to write down the frequency of his bowel movements and any exercise he participated in during these three days. When I reviewed his journal with him, we discovered he was eating some type of grain product with every meal as well as every snack. He also realized that he was eating very few green vegetables. Most of his drinks were laden with sugar.
I had him promise to do an experiment for 30 days. Since he had been suffering with bleeding, sore gums for several years, to experiment on himself for 30 days would not be too much to ask of him. He agreed, and here is what I recommended:
• Eliminate all grains – I described the foods that had grains and grain products, which had to be eliminated. I also gave him a list of foods that could be substituted for these grains and snacks. I even included some of my favorite recipes.
• Eliminate all sugary drinks – I recommended various drinks including regular water that he should be drinking.
• I suggested that he begin to take a nutrient-dense supplement of fermented cod liver oil capsules as well as organic kelp powder capsules every day. I gave him resources online where he could purchase them.
• I explained the benefits of coconut oil as an excellent mouthwash. He would place about 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil in is mouth and swish. At the end of 10 minutes, he would spit it out and rinse with water. He could do that several times a day if he wanted.
• Then, at the end of 30 days, he and I would get back together to see what happened.
To his astonishment, his bleeding gums were significantly better after 30 days – not healed yet, but much better. My further discussions with him were to include improving the bacteria in his gut and continuing to modify his diet to remove all offending items and replace what needed to be there. If necessary at a later date, I would suggest some functional testing to delve into specific cellular problems.