What's your most important organ?
For me, I'd say it's my brain.
We all want to stay sharp. To help you do this, I have a tip that may surprise you...
Take care of your teeth.
Early in my medical practice, I noticed that a lot of my dementia patients also had gum disease. Seems like science has finally caught up to my observations…
Research shows chronic gum disease may precede Alzheimer's by years. It also links having fewer teeth with a higher risk of dementia.1
And a new British study proves that gum disease can speed up the progression of dementia. In fact, they found gum disease was linked with a six-fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline in people with early stage Alzheimer's.2
It starts with simple tooth plaque. That creates a breeding ground for bacteria that can trigger inflammation. It leads to red, swollen, bleeding gums — a condition called gingivitis.
That can turn into another gum disease called periodontitis. The gums pull back from the root of the tooth. Infection attacks the tissue that holds the tooth to the jawbone. Teeth start to come loose and fall out.
But it gets worse. When gum tissue breaks down, bacteria start seeping into your bloodstream. Bacteria and inflammation travel to every part of your body — including your brain.
The message is clear. Keeping your teeth healthy can help keep your mind sharp.
But brushing isn't enough. You have to protect against inflammation and the buildup of plaque.
The first thing I do is check my patients CoQ10.
CoQ10 is one of the most powerful nutrients I prescribe to my patients. You're probably most familiar with using it to treat and prevent heart problems. But I discovered something amazing in my patients who were taking CoQ10...
All of them were cured of gum disease.
So I looked into the research and found a lot of studies linking CoQ10 to the reversal of gum disease.
One study looked at 40 gingivitis patients and found most were CoQ10 deficient.3 Another found that CoQ10 doses of 50 to 75 mg every day stopped gum disease within just a few days.4
You can find this nutrient in eggs, avocados, almonds, grape seeds and sesame seeds. But nowhere near enough. The only good food source is the organs of free-range cattle and wild game. But we don't eat them anymore. The closest thing you'll find is grass-fed beef or buffalo.
It's hard to get enough through food alone. I take 50 mg of the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 daily.
Ubiquinol is the form that your mitochondria use for energy. And it's 8 times more powerful than the old form, ubiquinone.
3 More Steps to Great Teeth and a Sharp Mind
1. Do coconut oil pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic detox practice that's been used for over 3,000 years. Studies show it can lower levels of plaque and gingivitis in just seven days.5
Gently swish one tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and between your teeth for 10 to 20 minutes first thing in the morning. Don't swallow. Spit the used oil out into the trash — not the sink. It will clog your plumbing. Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth as normal. Do this three or four times a week.
The oil leaves a film on your teeth and gums to help prevent plaque from sticking.
2. Cool oral inflammation with boswellia. Research shows boswellia is effective at reducing inflammation in the mouth. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 75 people with inflamed gums got either 100 mg of boswellia extract or 200 mg of powdered boswellia. After just a few days, everyone had significantly reduced inflammation.6
Look for a supplement standardized to at least 65% boswellic acids. Take 250 to 750 mg a day.
3. Sip some iced balsam tea. My herbalist friend Ivey Harris introduced me to "mary bush" in Jamaica. Here in the States we know it as balsam. Studies show it helps protect your teeth and gums when you drink it in tea or rinse your mouth with it. It can reduce plaque and gingivitis.7
To make balsam tea, add ½ ounce dried balsam leaves and flowers to 1½ pints of boiling water.
Steep for 15 minutes. Drink one cup three times a day. If you have sore gums, you should feel relief starting with the first cup.
But keep this in mind... Hot beverages can damage your gums. So drink your tea at room temperature or do what I do and enjoy it as an iced tea.
Look for balsam by its Latin name ocimum gratissimum to make sure you are getting the right variety.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Stein PS, Desrosiers M, Donegan SJ, Yepes JF, Kryscio RJ. "Tooth loss, dementia and neuropathology in the Nun study." J Am Dent Assoc 2007;138: 1314–1322; quiz 1381–1312.
2. Ide M, Harris M, Stevens A, Sussams R, Hopkins V, Culliford D, et al. "Periodontitis and Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's Disease." PLoS ONE 2016: 11(3): e0151081.
3. Nakamura R, Littarru GP, Folkers K, Wilkinson EG. Study of CoQ10-enzymes in gingiva from patients with periodontal disease and evidence for a deficiency of coenzyme Q10. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1974 Apr.
4. Nakamura R, Littarru GP, Folkers K, Wilkinson EG. Study of CoQ10-enzymes in gingiva from patients with periodontal disease and evidence for a deficiency of coenzyme Q10. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1974 Apr.
5. Peedikayil FC, Sreenivasan P, Narayanan A. "Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis — A preliminary report." Nigerian Medical Journal : Journal of the Nigeria Medical Association. 2015;56(2):143-147.
6. Khosravi Samani M, Mahmoodian H, Moghadamnia A, Poorsattar Bejeh Mir A, Chitsazan M. "The effect of Frankincense in the treatment of moderate plaque-induced gingivitis…" Daru. 2011;19(4):288-94.
7. Pereira S, de Oliveira J, Angelo K, et al. "Clinical effect of a mouth rinse containing Ocimum gratissimum on plaque and gingivitis control." J Contemp Dent Pract. 2011;12(5):350-5.