Improving Your Diet Can Improve Your Oral Health
A recent study found that diet can have a profound effect on oral health. Specifically, a diet low in carbohydrates, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, rich in vitamins C and D, and rich in fibers can significantly reduce gingival and periodontal inflammation.
Periodontal disease affects approximately 740 million people worldwide. It is considered to be a primary cause of tooth loss at advanced age. Gingivitis is a prerequisite for the development of periodontal disease, and also correlates to long-term tooth loss. Gums affected by gingivitis are often tender, soft, red, and bleed easily.
Given the importance of gingival and periodontal inflammation in oral health, this study investigated the effects of four weeks of an oral health optimized diet on periodontal parameters.
The experimental group in this study altered their diet for four weeks to be low in carbohydrates, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and rich in vitamins C and D, antioxidants and fiber. Measurements of plaque index, gingival bleeding, probing depths, and bleeding upon probing were performed after one and two weeks without a dietary change followed by a two week transitional period, and finally performed weekly for four weeks.
All inflammatory parameters decreased in the experimental group to approximately half that of the baseline values. This reduction was significantly different compared to that of the control group.
Based on the results, the researchers recommend avoidance of high-glycemic carbohydrates like sugar and white grain flour. Instead, they recommend a predominantly plant-based low-carb diet rich in micronutrients, antioxidants such a berries, Omega-3 fatty acids such as linseeds, and fibers.
The study was published in BMC Oral Health.