Whole grain-rich diet may reduce the risk of gum disease

The health of your teeth and gums is closely intertwined with the health of your heart, as we saw in yesterday’s e-Alert, “Tooth & Bone” (7/26/06).

Now a new study shows that a dietary choice may reduce the risk of gum disease (periodontitis).

Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario reviewed data collected from more than 34,000 men over the age of 40 who gave details about their diets every four years for 14 years. At the outset of the study, none of the men had a history of periodontitis.

Results showed that men who reported eating about three servings of whole grains each day were significantly less likely to develop gum disease compared to subjects who ate, on average, less than one serving of whole grains daily.

Other factors may have also contributed to dental health. Researchers report that subjects who ate the most grains also tended to be more physically active, typically ate more fruits and vegetables, and were less likely to smoke. But even after these factors were taken into consideration, whole grain intake still stood out as a likely risk reducer.

“Whole Grain-Rich Diet may Reduce Gum Disease Risk” Charnicia E. Huggins, Reuters Health, 6/19/06, reutershealth