Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an important molecule in cellular health. It is also known as ubiquinone due to its extensive presence within the human body. CoQ10 has many roles in human health. CoQ10 supports the body’s response to oxidative stress and cell membrane stability. It also helps stabilize calcium-dependent channels and plays a critical role in cellular energy production. Research indicates that CoQ10 may also help support periodontal health.
Periodontal health refers to the structures surrounding the teeth that include the gums and bones supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease is often associated with infection and an inflammatory response. This disease may also involve age-related changes. Periodontal disease affects approximately 90% of individuals who are over the age 65 years. According to the Centers for Disease Control, periodontal disease poses one of the biggest threats to dental health.
Cellular energy production and metabolism have been shown to be important to the repair and healing of periodontal tissue. Certain deficiencies in CoQ10 have been linked to periodontal disease. Increased concentrations of CoQ10 have been reported in studies to support the body’s response to inflammation in the presence of diseased gingiva. CoQ10 is believed to support health through its ability to influence lipid peroxidation, help regenerate vitamin E from the alpha-tocopheroxyl radical, and interact with certain hydrogen peroxide molecules related to mitochondrial DNA.
A 4-week randomized, controlled clinical trial assessed the efficacy of the application of a gel containing CoQ10 on individuals with periodontal disease. Objective parameters were collected at weeks 2 and 4. Study results showed significant improvement at week 4 in certain markers, including plaque index, gingival index, and gingival bleeding. The authors note that the study sample size was relatively small and that future studies should be conducted in larger populations with a substantial follow-up period.
Another randomized controlled trial explored the efficacy of CoQ10 application on oral health in smokers. Smoking is a known risk factor for periodontal disease. Smokers may also experience a reduced response to periodontal treatment when compared to nonsmokers. In the study, CoQ10 was locally delivered for a period of 3 months. Study results indicated a statistically significant improvement in mean plaque index scores. Overall improvement in all clinical parameters was also observed at the end of both the 1-month and 3-month periods. As in the previously reported study, the sample size was also relatively small.
CoQ10 supports cellular function and health in many ways. It provides support for cellular energy production and may support the body’s response to oxidative stress. Studies indicate that CoQ10 may support changes to the gums and other structures related to periodontal health.
By Colleen Ambrose, ND, MAT