Gum disease affects 70% of Canadians and is associated with many systemic diseases for which the benefits of plant-based diets have been well-established. In ‘A Plant-Based Diet and Periodontal Health’, published in last year’s October edition of Oral Health, we discussed the findings and potential implications of studies that have reported the association between plant-based diets and periodontal health. Results from these studies suggest a beneficial association between plant-based diets and better periodontal outcomes–including decreased probing depths decreased bleeding on probing, and decreased inflammation, though future research is still needed to comprehensively understand a ‘cause-and-effect’ relationship. As shown in the accompanying infographic, key components in a plant-based diet – higher intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols, vitamin C, fiber, and proteins–combined with other healthy lifestyle choices such as better brushing and flossing habits, less smoking and alcohol consumption, and physical activity have been associated with periodontal health and a lower risk of developing periodontal disease.
Written by: Larissa J. Rowdon and Dr. Wendy E. Ward