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Diet, Food Choices and Healthy Gums

Can food or drink choices help a person have healthier gums?
Japanese researchers studied a group of nearly 950 adults to determine whether consuming dairy products with lactic acid like milk, yogurt and cheese, had a lower risk for gum disease.

Participants' periodontal health was evaluated through two measurements — periodontal pocket depth and clinical attachment loss of gum tissue. Researchers found that participants who consumed 55 grams or more each day of yogurt or lactic acid drinks had significantly lower instance of periodontal disease. They found that consuming milk or cheese was not as beneficial to periodontal health.

Researchers theorize that the probiotic effect of Lactobacillus bacteria could be related to healthier gums. Another Japanese study showed that adults who drank green tea might also lead to healthier gums, because its antioxidants have anti — inflammatory properties.

Tea enthusiasts can also brew up a cup of black tea (minus the sugar, lemon or milk) to help squelch or suppress growth of cavity causing bacteria and acids in the mouth, according to U.S. researchers.

Research has also shown a connection between low intake of dietary vitamin C and gum disease, so noshing on fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C — citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and many other fruits and vegetables — can help you have a healthier diet and healthier gums.

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

3/4/2010

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