We’ve brought together powerful, natural mineral, vitamin and herb ingredients of the highest quality in a product that’s unrivalled in its effectiveness for supporting the restoration of healthy gums. The beneficial effects of our ingredients have been established and confirmed by a number of clinical trials, studies and peer-reviewed scientific articles.
Click on the ingredients listed below to find out more about their characteristics. They are natural and without chemical additives because we don’t want to put toxic residues into our bodies nor put toxic byproducts into the environment. They are dry ingredients because they can better retain their potency without the need to add chemical preservatives.
Vitamin-C & citrus bioflavonoids
There’s a strong connection between vitamin C and healthy gums. And there’s also a strong connection between bioflavonoids and how well vitamin C is absorbed. Both are prominent ingredients in the Good-Gums formula.
When bacteria start to penetrate the gums, through tiny lesions or weakened lining, it is the immune system within the gums that fights to eradicate the harmful bacteria and it is the growth of new cells that closes up the tiny lesions, to ensure the health of both the gums as well as the underlying tooth-supporting ligaments and bone.
Vitamin C is key to the processes of cell growth, of healing and of repair of gum tissue. It’s necessary for the production of collagen, the basic protein that makes up all connective tissue, including that of the gums and of the periodontal ligaments that hold the gums tightly to the teeth and the teeth to the jawbone.
The gum tissue is able to make new healthy gum cells only when there is enough vitamin C in the gums to both produce the collagen protein and also to cross-link the protein for new healthy cells. This vitamin-C driven process is important for gum health when individual gum cells have reached the end of their natural life span and need to be replaced. It’s even more essential when gum cells have been compromised by infection, and they need to be replaced by healthier new gum cells. And it’s absolutely critical when gum cells have already been killed off by infection and when additional, new healthy gum cells need to be grown to restore the gum tissue. Without enough vitamin C in the gums, oral health is on a downward spiral.
Good-Gums is the only gum-health product that supplies generous amounts of vitamin C directly to your gums. (Read the labels and see.) And the vitamin C is supplied in a formula that buffers its acidity, to protect your teeth enamel. (See the section on baking soda below for more details.) For human health, the vitamin C has to be supplied, because our bodies can’t produce it internally.
Because vitamin C is water soluble; it must either be used or is lost in urine. It cannot be stored in the body for later use, and so must be ingested daily. It’s not easy to take too much. It can take 33 or more times the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) before there’s too much vitamin C for the digestive tract to comfortably process, and this would lead only to indigestion, not to any vitamin toxicity. The RDA is based on the minimal amount needed to prevent obvious maladies, such as gingivitis, anemia, swollen joints or scurvy. The RDA is 60 mg for an adult. But the much larger amounts that the body can use to achieve optimal health are not part of that equation. Most simians, following their own natural instincts and inclinations, consume 10 to 20 times the RDA established for humans. Some authorities recommend much higher levels of intake than the RDA: the Linus Pauling institute recommends 400 mg; the Vitamin C Foundation 3,000 mg.
A significant percentage of the US population doesn’t even consume enough vitamin C to reach the RDA’s low standard of malady-avoidance, not to mention the higher standard of health optimization. A study by the University of Arizona found that 5-15% suffered from vitamin C deficiency and 13-23% from vitamin C depletion. The percentage who’d gain health benefits from increased levels of vitamin C could of course be much, much higher.
Lack of vitamin C is a direct cause of gum swelling and loose teeth. A 14 week study at the University of California San Francisco showed that when vitamin C intake was decreased, gums bled more; when it was increased, gum bleeding decreased. In another study, people who got less than the minimum daily amount of vitamin C had higher rates of periodontal disease than those who got the minimum, and they had three times the chance of gum disease than those who received three times the recommended amount of vitamin C.
Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, who won the Nobel Prize for discovering and studying vitamin C, believed that, in addition to its role in the production of connective tissue, vitamin C is needed for the body to maintain essential characteristic of all living cells, the ability to exchange electrons with other molecules and cells. He believed that the flow of electrons between cells constituted a form of biological electricity by which the functioning of cells is regulated. He stressed that the molecules of live tissue have a slight lack of electrons, in order to facilitate the biological flow of electrons. He also believed that the flow of electrons creates subtle magnetic fields that the body uses in maintaining its health. Dead tissue on the other hand have the more chemically stable configuration in which molecules have no lack of electrons, and therefore no flow of electrical energy. Vitamin C is thought to facilitate electron exchanges in the body by interacting with chemicals in virtually all the cells to maintain the slight deficit of electrons.
If gums are healthy (if you have no gum health issues) and diet is good, vitamin C in the blood may be enough to replenish the gums’ vitamin C. But when under stress (gingivitis, periodontal disease, receding gums, bleeding or sore or swollen gums) even what is commonly considered adequate blood levels of vitamin C might not be enough. Normally, healthy cells have a greater concentration of vitamin C than the blood does. But measurements of vitamin C are customarily taken only from the blood, so even when adequate levels of vitamin C show up in the blood, there may be a need for more in the tissue itself when it’s under stress. That’s why direct application to the gums of generous amounts of vitamin C (whose acidity is buffered to protect enamel) is such an important strategy for gum health.
Bioflavonoids have been shown to significantly enhance the absorption of Vitamin C, and possibly to prolong its effectiveness when they are combined together. Like vitamin C, the bioflavonoid nutrient is not made by the body and so has to be ingested. Unlike vitamin C, it’s not so critical a nutrient that people can die from lack of it. Its value almost always comes from working with vitamin C, although it has also been associated with maintaining the walls of blood vessels to prevent bruising and bleeding.
Baking soda is a naturally alkaline ingredient that has two important benefits for improving oral health.
Crucially, it buffers the acidity of vitamin C, which, in isolation, is so acidic as to be detrimental to tooth enamel. With the addition of a generous amount of baking soda, the pH of the Good-Gums formula has greatly reduced acidity, alleviating that threat to your enamel.
The alkalinity of baking soda also reduces the acidity, not only against your enamel, but within the entire oral cavity (which arises from acidic foods that we eat and from acidic digestive juices). This is important because the plaque-forming bacteria that infect the gums thrive in an acidic environment, and are inhibited by an alkaline environment. So the reduction of acidity from the baking soda helps control these troublesome bacterial colonies.
Other virtues of baking soda (aside from neutralizing acids) are that it acts as a very good cleanser and deodorizer. Baking soda is nontoxic and mild enough for the soft tissues of the gums, tongue and mouth. It’s one of the least abrasive cleansers on tooth enamel, much less than the silicas or dicalcium phosphates that are common to many toothpastes.
Baking soda neutralizes odors, bad tastes, and Volatile Sulfur Compounds, which are primarily responsible for bad breath and are highly toxic. Clinical studies are underway to determine the involvement VSCs have related to gum health issues as they tend to congregate in the gum pockets, especially as pockets get deeper.
Another virtue of baking soda is that it helps remove stains on the surface and in the tiny crevices of teeth. So if you drink coffee, tea, wine or even smoke, baking soda may help improve your teeth’s appearance.
FRENCH GREY SEASALT
Seawater and saltwater have been shown to have significant antimicrobial effects. One study says that salt water may be considered as effective as chlorhexidine (the “gold standard” for synthetic oral rinses) for dental plaque control. Another study found that a mechanism for saltwater’s antimicrobial action is that “water moves out of the cell by osmosis” and that “oral bacteria become dehydrated and eventually die within a minute.”
Salt water solutions are considered so supportive of healing that dental surgeons almost always recommend salt water rinses following tooth extractions or other oral surgery. And dentists often recommend a mixture of baking soda and salt for cleaning teeth. (This combination is a traditional tooth cleanser that has stood the test of time for over centuries.) But when you introduce products into your mouth (even if just to brush or deodorize), much more than just cleaning is going on. The gums are also absorbing whatever is in the mixture, whether it’s an artificial chemical or natural sea salt.
Now a lot of people think that all salt is the same. It’s not! When we select the salt (along with the other natural nutrients) that we use in Good-Gums, we specify a particular type of sea salt instead of the cheapest refined table salt, which has been stripped of its mineral nutrients.
Mineral rich sea water is often considered the closest thing in nature to human blood (so much so that it was successfully used in emergency transfusions by Navy doctors in World War II when blood and plasma weren’t available.) If sea salt has not been refined, it can be reconstituted into its mineral rich solution by water or by the moisture of saliva or food. Ordinary table salt cannot. The producers of refined salt have processed it to extract many trace minerals from the salt and to sell the minerals as nutritional additives to the manufacturers of processed “fortified” foods, before selling the depleted salt. That’s one reason table salt is so inexpensive; it’s been reduced to being a byproduct that’s nearly-nutrient-free after having had up to 90 essential minerals extracted and sold separately, and then having aluminosilicate of sodium or yellow prussiate of soda added, as well as bleaches!
The resulting refined salt then winds up with an undesired higher sodium content than unrefined sea salt. Dissolved sea salt – especially mineral rich sea salt – allows liquids to pass through the body’s membranes and blood vessels’ walls. The trace elements are required for cells to control their ion equilibrium, which is necessary for the cells’ functioning, growth and regeneration. Ordinary refined salt is impoverished of these trace element ions, leading to an imbalance between the inside and the outside of a cell membrane hampering the desired passage. With salt and its trace elements being so important, Good-Gums incorporates what we consider to be the best sea salt in the world as a natural oral care ingredient for Isabelle’s formula. It is a sea salt from the Celtic Sea, also known as grey sea salt, harvested from Brittany in France facing
, a section of the Atlantic Ocean that has been shown to be particularly clean. The sea water is introduced into shallow pools of mineral rich clay (and not into conventional cement-lined ponds). As the brine evaporates in the sun, salt crystals form about 6 inches below the surface, with a distinctive grey color from the healthful minerals and nutrients of the ocean and of the beds’ clay bottom. The resulting salt is so pure that no further processing is necessary to be certified organic by the French organization Nature et Progrès which is one of the founding organizations of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).
Myrrh is widely considered to be one of the most effective substances for sore gums by herbalists and by practitioners of Chinese medicine. Even in the west it is renowned for its astringent and antiseptic properties as well as for promoting healing.
Scientific studies have confirmed the medicinal importance of myrrh. A study that reviewed over 70 peer-reviewed papers found that the genus Commiphora (myrrh) is used successfully and safely as a natural drug to treat pain, inflammatory conditions and periodontal diseases, among other uses. It noted that in recent years recognition has been growing for myrrh’s significant anesthetic properties.
Modern science has also found that myrrh has a very unusual property: bacteria don’t develop resistance to it, even when a strain has been exposed to it for extended periods of time. Natural myrrh continues to be effective, even long after synthetic drugs would have lost much of their effectiveness due to microbes having developed resistance to the synthetic drugs.
In addition to its antiseptic, antimicrobial and astringent properties, it has been used by people wishing to stimulate circulation in mucous membrane tissue (which includes the gums). It has historically been used by itself for swollen or spongy gums as well as for canker sores, sore throats and sinus infections.
Even in antiquity, its antiseptic properties were employed (even before humanity had learned about microbes and the biological mechanisms of sepsis). It was used for embalming and mummifying Egyptian Pharaohs; ancient Greek soldiers carried it into battle to treat wounds and prevent gangrene. It was so valued as an astringent and healing agent, it was considered even more valuable than gold!
Myrrh is an Arabic word meaning bitter. A little bit goes a long way, so usable quantities could be carried by donkeys, camels and other pack animals along ancient trade routes that fanned out from the Middle East. Its healing powers made it prized by royalty, nobles and wealthier people from Greece to India. It’s famously cited in scripture as a highly prized gift of the Magi.
Myrrh is produced by trees in the Commiphora genus, especially Commiphora myrrha, which grows in Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. Cultivation has extended its growth range, and it’s estimated that current stocks of the plants are enough to fill the world’s demand for myrrh.
Myrrh is unique among herbs, for its effectiveness, versatility, safety and avoidance of microbial resistance, making it extremely valuable for supporting oral health.
Peppermint has historically been considered a mild-acting herbal medicine (phytomedicine), and its leaves have been used as a folk remedy for centuries to relieve pain around a tooth and to improve swollen gums. It has a calming and numbing effect due to the high menthol content of its oil.
In the western hemisphere, peppermint is sometimes called the world’s oldest medicine. It inhibits the growth of various strains of bacteria as well as viruses. It is high in vitamin C and vitamin A, and contains numerous nutrient trace elements, such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and copper.
A number of studies by modern researchers have tested peppermint and documented its “significant antibacterial and antiviral properties” against a range of microbial species, including those found in the mouth. Also noteworthy, peppermint has been found to be effective against biofilm formation. A review of the health benefits of peppermint confirmed its analgesic effects from in vivo studies in humans.
Peppermint also has the remarkable ability to be absorbed by the skin, leading to many reports of pain relief from headaches and insect bites after topical application of its oil. Absorption takes place even more readily through the mucous membranes, such as the absorptive tissues of the gums, stomach and intestines. Historically peppermint leaf has been ingested for relief from irritable bowel syndrome and its vapors inhaled for nausea, indigestion and congestion. And of course, peppermint adds a touch of that fresh, minty flavor we like so much.
Cranberry has the amazing property of preventing the biological adhesion of microbes onto mucous membranes, such as the urinary tract, stomach, and of course, the gums. The anti-adhesion property of cranberries stem from its proanthocyanidins, a type of flavonoid with high antioxidant properties but with a rare structure not found in most other fruits and vegetables. It’s the bacterial anti-adhesion property that makes cranberry so effective against urinary tract infections and also against bacterial colonies in the mouth.
The precise biological mechanism that makes cranberry so effective against oral pathogens is that it “significantly decreases nonoscale adhesion forces” of the oral pathogenic bacteria. The bacteria have small, hair-like projections called fimbriae that reach out from each bacterium to latch onto victim epithelial cells (cells of the lining of tissue, such as of the gums or of the urinary tract). When enough bacterial cells adhere to epithelial cells, they cause an infection. In fact, the adhesion by the fimbriae is required for infection to take place. But exposing the cells to cranberry causes fimbriae of the bacteria to curl up, into a position in which they cannot grip epithelial cells. As more of a bacterium cell’s fimbriae curl up, the less that the bacterium can hold on to its “victim” tissue, so that the bacterium can be removed much more easily with much less force. For a urinary tract infection, just the flow of urine through the urinary tract is enough to dislodge many of the bacteria and to flush them out of the body, thereby shortening the time to achieving a recovery from the infection.
In the mouth, the grip of the plaque-forming bacteria can be loosened to the extent that vibrating the bristles of a toothbrush is enough to dislodge them. This is the mechanism employed by Good-Gums. We don’t subscribe to the conventional practice of tolerating the super-stickiness of oral bacteria, and then relying on abrasives (common to all tooth pastes and to other anti-plaque products) to grind them off (while also scratching enamel). We think that reducing the grip of bacteria so that it becomes much easier to brush away is a more effective approach, without the damaging side effects.
It’s not just the structure of cranberry’s antioxidants that’s unusual. Cranberries are also packed with unusually high levels of antioxidants, with five times the concentration found in broccoli and one of the highest among all other common fruits and vegetables.
When ingested by itself, the high level of antioxidants are thought to be beneficial for reductions in cholesterol, heart disease, and stroke. It has rightly been called a “super fruit” because of its high levels of antioxidants, vitamin C, and other trace elements.
Scientists have discovered that the flavonoids quercetin and myricetin found in cranberries can stop the formation of dental plaque and tooth decay. Their natural antimicrobial actions beneficial for overcoming gum infections; normally bacteria can attach themselves to teeth and gums, forming a biofilm that becomes dental plaque. Cranberry helps to keep such bacteria from sticking to surfaces in the first place. Trials have shown that daily exposure to cranberry for six weeks significantly reduces levels of harmful bacteria in saliva.
Please note: The Good Gums formula includes cranberry but does not include any sugar.
Cinnamon is both antimicrobial and a modest pain reliever. The inner bark is the part of the plant from which either the powder or the more concentrated and intense oil is derived, and is the part approved for use as a medicinal herb by the prestigious German Commission E (which gives scientific expertise for the approval of substances and products previously used in traditional, folk and herbal medicine).
Cinnamon has properties that are antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and slightly anesthetic, which can be beneficial for sore tissues. The oil and bark have been traditional folk remedies for many years and have historically been used to numb teeth and gums, including the gums of teething infants.
Cinnamon is also considered one of the most concentrated sources of antioxidants.
Cinnamon is not only a natural ingredient for oral care, other traditional applications for cinnamon address the digestive process, including indigestion, loss of appetite, bloating, and flatulence. And of course cinnamon is widely known for improving taste and aroma.
The ingredients of Good-Gums® contain parts of plants (such as leaves, bark, fruit pulp, skins and sap) that can start to degrade over time in a moist environment. So Good-Gums® is produced as a dry powder to help the ingredients retain their potency longer and be fresh until it is used.