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Oral Health: Nutrients help ensure healthy teeth and gums

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis begins with red, swollen gums that bleed easily, and is reversible with treatment and good home care. Doctors also believe diet is an important factor.

Micronutrients preserve periodontal health

In this study, doctors collected diet information from 450 participants, average age 50, who also had an oral exam. Most were obese, with an average body-mass index score of 28.5, and two in three were sedentary.

Overall, 67 percent of participants had at least one periodontal pocket—a gap between tooth and gum—of at least 4 mm. Those with the most severe cases tended to be older, female, smokers, with a chronic disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and a lower level of education. In this group, doctors found lower levels of omega-3s, fiber, vitamins C, K, copper, and zinc.

Those in the healthiest group tended to be younger, without a chronic disease, and a higher level of education. Levels of omega-3, fiber, calcium, retinol, riboflavin, and zinc were higher.

Reference: Nutrients; 2021, Vol. 13, No. 3, 973

Aged garlic slows periodontitis

In this study, 182 participants, aged 20 to 60, took a placebo or 1,200 mg of Kyolic® aged garlic extract in the morning and afternoon. At the start of the study, and at 12 and 18 months, all participants had a dental exam.

At 12 months, receding gums and pocket depth—the deepest gap between the tooth and gum—had improved by 42 percent for those taking aged garlic extract compared to 18 percent for placebo, with these benefits continuing through 18 months.

Reference: Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition; 2020, Vol. 67, No. 3, 297–301

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