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Dairy products may promote periodontal health

Routine intake of dairy products may help promote periodontal health, according to a study published in the Journal of Periodontology.

The study analyzed the periodontal health of 942 subjects and determined that those who regularly consumed dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt had a lower rate of gingival disease.

"Research has suggested that periodontal disease may affect overall systemic health," said study author Dr. Yoshihiro Shimazaki, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. "This study reinforces what much of the public already knows — the importance of dairy in helping achieve a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy mouth."

The researchers examined study participants, who were aged 40 through 79 years, regarding two periodontal parameters: periodontal pocket depth (PD) and clinical attachment loss (CAL). They observed that subjects who consumed 55 or more grams of products containing lactic acid each day had a significantly lower prevalence of deep PD and severe CAL, thereby demonstrating a lower rate of periodontal disease.

"Millions of adults already suffer from periodontal disease," said Dr. Susan Karabin, president of the American Academy of Periodontology. "By regularly consuming dairy products such as cheese and milk, something many people do each day, the risk of developing [gingival] disease may decrease."

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

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