"Best Foods for Halitosis and Gingivitis" Yeah, saturated fats producean inflammatory response.
Yeah, inflammation is recognized asone of the key underlying causal factors in periodontal disease.
And so that could explain why moderatingpeople's intake of meat and dairy could promote periodontal health.
But plant-based diets don't just offer lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol,and animal protein, but also higher levels of complexcarbohydrates and dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals,antioxidants, phytochemicals, so we don't necessarily knowwhat the mechanism is.
Yes, saturated fat is associated withthe progression of periodontal disease, but at the same time, dietary fiberintake may be protective.
But you don't know either wayuntil you put it to the test.
The effect of dietary interventionin a randomized, controlled trial.
At seven months of age more than athousand infants were randomized, about half to a low saturatedfat and cholesterol intake to see if they get less heartdisease when they grow up.
They're still just in their 20s,but as children and adolescents those randomized to the healthier dietsended up with better saliva production.
They had them chewon like wax cubes, and those randomized since infancy tothe better diet produced more saliva.
And saliva is essential for themaintenance of oral health, for example clearing out sugarand acid faster off the teeth.
What they think happened is thatthe greater increase of salivary flow was due to the greater intake of fiber-rich foods: whole grains, vegetables, fruit and berries thatrequire more chewing, which in turn is knownto boost saliva production.
So maybe their bodies werejust used to putting out more? In other words, in additionto general health benefits, dietary fiber may have benefitson oral health as well, but not necessarily the fiber itself,but just the act of chewing itself.
That reminds of me of this studyin which a single high fiber meal was able to reducebad breath for hours.
Bad breath is caused by thesegaseous sulfur compounds produced by a certaintype of bacteria that are concentratedon the back of your tongue.
And so when we eat, the reason thatbad breath gets better may be due to a kind of a "self-cleaning" ofthe mouth while chewing food.
And so it makes sense that foods thatneed to be chewed more intensively have a stronger self-cleaningeffect on the back of your tongue than foods that requireless chewing, but you don't knowuntil you put it to the test.
Two very similar meals but onehad a whole grain roll, more fiber, more chewing, and a raw appleand jam, where the other was just white bread with jelly andcooked apples, less chewing.
Then they just measured the halitosiscompounds in people's breath at two hours after themeal, then eight hours.
And even after the low fiber meal,bad breath levels dropped, but in the higher fiber mealthey dropped significantly more and stayed way downeven eight hours later.
So the reason a high-fiber dietmay improve periodontal disease may be from the fiber, thelower saturated fat intake, or just the chewing, butthere's another possibility.
Maybe it's the nitrate-containing vegetables.
We know the ingestion of dietarynitrate in the form of greens and beets has been proven to exert manybeneficial and clinically relevant effects on general health, includingmaintaining good blood flow and reducing inflammation in general.
So, hey, might improved circulation tothe gums and anti-inflammatory effects benefit periodontal patients?Let's find out.
A randomized, double-blinded,placebo-controlled clinical trial of repeated consumptionof lettuce juice? Why lettuce juice?That sounds so disgusting.
Not to worry, though.
To improve patient acceptance, the lettuce juice was seasoned by a chamomile-honey flavor and sweetened with Splenda.
That just sounds worse!But it worked.
The clinical intervention trialdemonstrated an attenuating effect of dietary nitrate ongingival inflammation.
Check it out.
In the placebo group, most of theirteeth had no gingivitis, about 60%, but 40% did have mild gingivitiswith almost no moderate gingivitis.
And after drinking two weeksof placebo lettuce juice— I don't know if thatsounds better or worse— no real change,as you would expect.
But in the lettuce group, theystarted out a bit worse actually.
About half their teeth had mildor moderate gum disease.
But then after two weeks of actuallettuce juice, significant improvements.
No more moderate disease, themild disease rates were cut in half, and three quarters of theirteeth had no gingivitis at all.
In conclusion, our findings suggestthat the ingestion of greens and beets may be a clinically useful adjunctin the control of chronic gingivitis, and all sorts of chronic disease.
What's good for the mouth—not smoking, a healthier diet— is good for the rest of our body.
So many dental professionals, who may seepeople more frequently than their doctors, should be counseling patientson living more healthfully.
And indeed, nearly all dentalhygienists surveyed said they thought they have a role inhelping patients improve their diets, yet that's not what happens at all.
Ask the patients and lessthan one in ten said they got dietary advice fromtheir dental professionals.
Why? Because although dentistswere motivated to include nutrition in their clinical care, most feltunqualified to provide dietary guidance.
That never stopped doctors! But, it's true; nutrition isneglected in dental school, just like in medical school.
And in most cases all people got werelike the biochemistry of vitamins, the Krebs cycle all over again, asopposed to applied, clinical nutrition.
I mean it's really not rocket science.
Or is it?Get it? Why dietary nitrate is hard to beet.