Healthy Diet Helps Oral Health

It’s no secret that a healthy diet is imperative to reaching optimal health, but did you know that it could also be the best cure for gum problems? According to a recent article from Dentistry Today, a team of researchers from the University of Freiburg in Germany is claiming that a low-carb diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and D, antioxidants, and fiber can significantly reduce periodontal inflammation.

The study included 15 participants, 10 in the experimental group and 5 as the control. The experimental group ate recommended foods for four weeks while the control group continued their normal eating habits. The team found that high-glycemic carbohydrates, like honey, wheat flour and starches, promote the inflammatory process, insulin distribution, and an inhibition of fat-burning metabolism. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates, such as greens, most vegetables, beans, and fibers, seem to have a neutral influence on blood sugar and an inhibiting effect on inflammatory processes.

Based on the results, the authors, including Dr. Johan Wölber and Dr. Christian Tennert, concluded that because diet has such a profound effect on gingival inflammation, dentists are in a unique position to educate patients on the importance of diet. In addition to the oral health benefits, a reduction of high-glycemic carbohydrates could also provide a number of other positive health effects.  In general, it is advised that patients should avoid high-glycemic carbohydrates like sugar, white grain flour and pro-inflammatory fatty acids, especially Omega-6 fatty acids and trans-fat. On the contrary, dentists should recommend that patients consume a mainly plant-based low-carb diet rich in micronutrients, antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, and fibers.

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