As we have always said at Natural Dentistry, a good diet and healthy lifestyle is the basis of dental health.  The following recent report and articles cited in that report give scientific support to our philosophy.

An article published this year in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Staufenbiel et al., Periodontal Conditions in Vegetarians: a clinical study. 2013), compared a vegetarian to a non vegetarian diet, showing vegetarians had better gums and less gum disease.

It concluded a vegetarian diet and vegetarian lifestyle had a positive effect on a patient’s periodontal condition.  Vegetarians show less signs of inflammation, less periodontal damage, less missing teeth and as a result of a better dental home care have less dental plaque. In addition the authors concluded, vegetarians by having a higher level of health awareness would lead to less inflammatory periodontal disease. However, regarding other dental conditions, vegetarians show more decayed teeth and more erosion. It was proposed this maybe due to a higher level of acid in their diet

Additionally, it was felt the observed reduced gum disease was due to lower levels of obesity in vegetarians and a consumption of higher levels of anti oxidants which improve the immune system. This article and other research papers have consistently found that vegetarians have a better homecare (i.e. daily brushing and flossing).

These authors quoted a study (Jenzsch et Al. Nutritional intervention in patients with periodontal disease. Brit J of Nutrition 2009) demonstrating that by just changing to a healthier diet without any other  dental intervention or changes in homecare practises, patients had a decrease in signs of gum disease.

The dietary recommendations for those in the study had the following general features:

1. preference for food of plant origin

2. preference of food processed as little as possible

3. plentiful consumption of unheated fresh food

4. careful preparation of meals from fresh foods

5. sparse use of fat

 

This diet is mainly composed of vegetables, fruit, wholegrain products, potatoes, legumes and dairy products. The consumption of meat, fish and eggs was limited to one or two portions a week. (Korber KV et Al,  Full Value – Nutrition. Design of a Modern and Sustainable Food. Germany, 2004)