Garlic and Gum Disease: How Garlic Can Improve Your Health

Hollywood would have you hanging cloves of garlic in your windowsill to keep vampires at bay, or, perhaps if you are a teenage girl, you have vowed to never eat garlic, in case a handsome, sparkly vampire were to go to your high school. Many people have a love/hate relationship with this herb. Garlic can add flavor to almost any dish, but it can also give you bad breath. On National Garlic Day, Chicago dentist Dr. James Fondriest will shed some light on some of the little known health benefits of garlic.

Ancient Uses for Garlic

Throughout history, folklore has attached garlic to many uses. This pungent herb is said to ward off the evil eye and scare away jealous nymphs who terrorize engaged or pregnant women. In the Middle Ages, the plague of the scourge, or “Black Death” was said to be prevented by eating cloves of garlic. In Ancient Egypt, workers building the pyramids were supposedly fed garlic for stamina. More recent studies of the herb suggest that our ancestors may have been on the right track.

Health Benefits of Garlic

Because garlic thins the blood, it is said to help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Additionally, some scientists believe regular doses of garlic can prevent cancers, such as stomach cancer and colon cancer. The antiseptic qualities of garlic have been used to disinfect camps in World Wars I and II to avoid gangrene infection.

Garlic and Gum Disease

When you think of scurvy, you may picture a dirty pirate or a foul-mouthed sailor. In fact, scurvy was mostly characterized by gum disease. Poor oral hygiene and a vitamin C deficiency contributed to this disease which killed millions of sea-faring mean and women. Garlic, high in vitamin C and antibacterial agents, was sometimes used to treat scurvy and gum disease. Liquefied, garlic can reach below the gum line into periodontal pockets to eliminate some of the harmful bacteria. The unfortunate trade off, is halitosis, or bad breath.

Gum Disease Treatment in Chicago

If you suffer from gum disease, do not let the symptoms get worse before you seek professional help. Chicago dentist, Dr. James Fondriest can help you regain and maintain your oral health with deep cleanings and regular dental checkups. For more information about gum disease treatment, contact our dentist office in Lake Forest at (847)234-0517.

 

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