In a study recently reported in Nutrients, German researchers analyzed data from more than 6,000 participants to review the relationship between dietary patterns and periodontitis, which is what we call severe gum disease. Their analysis showed a “significant” association between adherence to the DASH or Mediterranean diets and lower odds of having severe gum disease.
What is the DASH Diet?
The Mayo Clinic describes the DASH or “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” diet as including loads of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, poultry and nuts. DASH suggests limiting red meat, sweets and sugary beverages. The emphasis is on lower sodium and foods that are richer in potassium, magnesium and calcium.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The same source describes this plant-based diet very similarly, with an emphasis on whole grains, seafood, vegetables, etc. Although the name sounds glamorously like food you’d find at a European resort, the diet doesn’t necessarily include the kind of meals you might get at the typical neighborhood Italian restaurant.
The German Study Results:
Participants with severe periodontitis (gum disease) were mostly:
Inflammation is the Culprit
Diets with emphasis on plants and less sweets are considered anti-inflammatory. And the inflammation of gum disease, as we continue to report, may contribute to a wide range of other disorders in the body, a list that seems to grow all the time – arthritis, respiratory diseases, dementia, diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and more.
The American Dental Association, via their website MouthHealthy, supports the findings by suggesting we should all “think before we eat and drink.” Your figure is only one part of the equation that can be affected when you consume the wrong foods!
Concerned that an unhealthy diet may have contributed to issues with your teeth and gums? Call us at one of our two convenient locations in Northeast Philadelphia (215-677-8686) or Ambler (215-643-4393). You can also contact us online to set up a consultation where we can assess you and even provide a periodontal “report card” with scores to show you if we think you will be able to keep your natural teeth given your current lifestyle habits.