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Gum Disease and Nutrition

Periodontal health is affected by oral hygiene, genetic and epigenetic factors, systemic health, and nutrition. Advanced periodontal disease will also impact negatively on nutrition with related eating difficulties.

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Periodontal health is affected by oral hygiene, genetic and epigenetic factors, systemic health, and nutrition. While inadequate nutrition can contribute to poor oral health and lead to gum disease, tooth loss due to advanced periodontal disease will also impact negatively on nutrition with related eating difficulties.

Extensive research studies have concluded that a balanced diet plays an important part in maintaining periodontal health. Nutritional supplements and dietary components have also been shown to improve healing after periodontal surgery. 

Furthermore, nutritional factors are implicated in many oral and systemic diseases and conditions, including obesity, hypertension, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease

Scientific evidence

  • Periodontal disease is an oral health condition caused by specific bacteria that form plaque on the teeth and gums causing tooth decay and diseased gum tissue which leads to tooth loss if untreated
  • Research highlights that around 40%–90% of the global population is affected by periodontal disease, making it one of the most prevalent epidemics in the world 
  • Research has proven that dietary sugar is the main contributing factor and cause of tooth decay 
  • The higher the frequency of sugar consumption, particularly when kept in the mouth for a long time, the higher the risk of tooth decay 
  • An increase in fluoride intake, coupled with a good oral hygiene regime can modulate the impact of sugar and caries risk but a reduction in overall sugar intake has the most health benefits 
  • Tooth loss affects chewing ability which impacts nutritional choices, commonly the avoidance of healthy food choices which then affects general health 

How Professionals Can Help

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Hippocrates

References

  1. The Role of Nutrition in Periodontal Health: An Update, Shariq Najeeb et al, Nutrients. 2016 Sep; 8(9): 530.
  2. Nutrition and health: guidelines for dental practitioners, C Palacios, KJ Joshipura, and WC Willett, Oral Dis. 2009 Sep; 15(6): 369–381.
  3. The interrelationship between diet and oral health. Moynihan P, Proc Nutr Soc. 2005 Nov;64(4):571-80
  4. British Society of Periodontology http://www.bsperio.org.uk/publications/index.php

 

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