Study Finds Diet Affects Oral Health, Especially for Men

Now there’s a new reason why eating right in the New Year is a great resolution.  Not only is a nutritious diet essential to achieving a healthy weight and maximizing body functions, according to a recent Dental Tribune article, food choices may also play a critical role in the prevention of oral disease. Researchers found this especially true in older men who also suffer from hypertension.

The study comes out of Boston University where researchers examined 533 men, ages 47-90, over several years. The exam included assessments of root caries and restorations, calculus, probing pocket depth and attachment loss at each tooth. Additionally, they also collected information about dietary habits, using a food frequency questionnaire focused on Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) guidelines, which were developed to help lower blood pressure without medication.

After analysis of the collected data, researchers concluded that the men who adhered to the DASH program the most had a reduced risk of developing root caries. Not surprisingly, the risk of developing root caries grew with greater consumption of sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages, and fewer vegetables and whole grains.

There are approximately 70 million American adults with high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The U.S. spends about $46 billion annually to treat this condition and the accompanying symptoms, including medications, health care services, and missed days of work.

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